Violence in Pta West urges for better relations between police and community

Angry residents on the streets of Pretoria West. Photo: Twitter

A Police committee says violent crimes in the west of Pretoria could have been avoided through strong relations built between the South African Police Service (SAPS) and the community in the west.

The committee said relations could have been strengthened through adequate and timeous response, as well as the provision of basic police services by local police stations.

Police committee chairperson Francois Beukman said: “Cluster and station commanders should ensure that the trust between the community and SAPS is strengthened through proactive steps, such as constant visible policing, the deployment of specialised units, better coordination of crime intelligence units and improved relations with CPFs, as well as improving response time to crime complaints by members of the public.”

Beukman was responding with concern to the inadequate action by police to their response to the dramatic unfolding of crimes in Pretoria West.

He said the committee’s concern over dwindling levels of trust in the police was further confirmed by the recent crime survey released by Statistics South Africa last week, which indicates weakening levels of trust by the public in the police service.

Beukman said it was imperative for the national management of police to address this as a matter of urgency.

“We cannot allow citizens’ trust in law enforcement agencies to erode any further. It is patently clear that urgent interventions are needed at certain police stations in the Republic.”

Beukmans’ committee further urged the SAPS and relevant entities to ensure they conducted proper investigations of all complaints of police misconduct and alleged corruption.

“Police cluster and station commanders should ensure that crime in their respective precincts is addressed, especially those relating to contact crime, illegal firearms and drugs.”

This is after a house in the west of Pretoria, allegedly notorious for criminal activities was set alight and looting of foreign national owned shops occurred.

Also read: Notorious Pta West house set alight

Foreigners were assaulted by angry residents who claimed the properties were being used as drug dens and brothels.

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Police spokesperson Captain Bongi Msimango said the situation was now calm but police members were keeping a close eye on the situation.

Also Read: UPDATE: Pretoria West attack may be ‘far from over’

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Reitumetse Mahope

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