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2021/06/21      |  Written By:  Colonel P Naidu   |   Province:  Eastern Cape

Gqeberha: 20  June 2021 - The Provincial Commissioner, Lt Gen Liziwe Ntshinga ended the three day operations by painting the streets of Timothy Valley and Arcadia blue on Saturday, 19 June 2021.

A multidisciplinary team comprising of SAPS Junior Management Core(JMC) in the Province, Men for Change, Women’s Network, CPF, Youth Desk and Visible Policing members descended in the Nelson Mandela Bay district  on Thursday, 17 June 2021 embarking on a mission to educate and inform the citizens of this city  on various crime preventative initiatives focussing on prevalent crime issues affecting this metro.

The team kick started their awareness campaigns in the New Brighton and Kwazakele areas. They fruitfully interacted with the residents on topics such as Gender Based Violence, adherence to COVID 19 protocols and the regulations as stipulated in the DMA – level 3, bullying etc.  The JMC led these operations and were well received wherever they engaged with the local community.

Educating and developing our citizens as well as instilling good morals and patriotism  should be the goal of any person or organisation that may have  the power to invest in these positive changes and the JMC are one of these important roleplayers  to build and create future leaders  through educational programmes.

As part of their mandate of proactively tackling crime that is prevalent in a specific community, the JMC wasted no time in meeting with tavern owners and traders with the aim of ensuring that there was total compliance of the Disaster Management Act- level 3 restrictions. One of the contributors in the rise of Covid 19 infections and GBV, is the misuse of alcohol. The team  immediately set out in tackling  these worrying issues. 

Tavern owners and traders in New Brighton were addressed and warned to keep to the curfew and liquor trading hours as outlined in the DMA. They were informed  that the abuse of alcohol is a major concern as this leads to the commission of many crimes especially crimes against women and children. Police warned tavern owners that they will ‘show no mercy if  found contravening the law relating to the operating times. We will be constantly breathing down your necks to ensure 100% compliance.’

The awareness campaigns continued throughout the three days where police and various stakeholders as well as non-governmental organisations teamed up and engaged with the residents in open spaces as well as door-to-door campaigns. Men and  women were sensitized  on violence against women and children. The women were informed of the process to follow if they become victims of this scourge. The men were addressed on the consequences of their actions should they fall on the wrong side of the law.

In general, the community were advised to be vigilant at all times and to always verify information before falling prey to online scams. They were also cautioned about depositing money into accounts without receiving their goods.  Internet fraud is a major concern in Motherwell, New Brighton, Kwazakele and Kwadwesi. People were warned about divulging personal information over the telephone especially their ID numbers and their bank card pin numbers.

Taverns were visited at night to ensure compliance. Detective officers conducted late night raids in search of wanted suspects. Blue light patrols, stop and search operations dominated at night in hotspot areas. 

Continuing with their awareness drive, on Friday, 18 June 2021 two schools were visited in Kwazakele where the youth were the focus of these visits. The main topics addressed were on bullying, drug abuse and vandalism at schools. The learners were informed to be proud of their learning environment and to protect it from vandals and criminals. They were schooled to report all forms of criminality to police.

The topic of bullying dominated the awareness talks and learners were taught to always respect others and were warned to ‘ remember that when sending  a  message to someone,  you cannot see the impact that your words or images may have on them. That is why it is important to always respect people and be careful what you say online or what pictures you post. What may appear as a joke to you, may be hurtful to another.’

Lt Gen Liziwe Ntshinga joined the operations on Saturday, 19/06 leading from the front ensuring that the authority of the State will not be undermined by gang activities in the Bethelsdorp area. Walking beside and fully supporting the Provincial Commissioner on this worthy initiative were the Deputy Executive Mayor of NMB Metro, Cllr Nametta, Commissioner of NMB Metro Police, Ms Faro, the NMB District Executive Community Policing Forum, representative from the Human Rights Commission, traditional leaders, youth group from Jacksonville as well as many other NGO’s in the metro.

She also met with the NMB business community policing  board and the CPF Executive. While addressing them she added that,’ We must work together and not alone. We are all partners and the business fraternity is crucial in our fight against crime. We need to take care of our communities through social needs as well. With businesses on board, we can do more. We need your assistance in helping those in need in our communities and we thank and appreciate you for your continuous support .’

The Deputy Executive  Mayor of NMB metro, Cllr Nametta also pledged his support to the SAPS. He added that ‘ We are a one city and we need to unify the city by working together. We need to declare a zero tolerance in respect of crime. Today we are going to restore the dignity of the SAPS, Metro Police and other law enforcement in our metro. This is not the end of the operations, it will be continuous. "

While engaging with the community of Timothy Valley and Arcadia, Lt Gen Ntshinga  urged  women to take a stand on violence against them and their children. The community was very receptive of the Provincial Commissioner and the strong police presence in the area. They openly highlighted their problems on GBV and gangsterism . She encouraged the women to report all criminality to the police as well as advised them on the appropriate steps to follow in respect of their problems. ‘We are here to take care of our children.

We need to take them off the streets and the children need to know that we, the police are their friends . These children are our future leaders. Parents need to take care of their children. The people in these areas need to know that they are not alone and if they work with us, together we will achieve a safe environment for our children and women. We will not be intimidated by the gangs in these areas,’  stated Lt Gen Ntshinga.

Apart from proactive policing, the operations during the three days have achieved significant successes. A total of 234 rolls of dagga, 11 packets of tik, a dagga roller, loose dagga, wiring and wooden fencing were confiscated. Eight (8) suspects were arrested for crimes ranging from rape, pointing of a firearm and domestic violence, dealing in drugs and possession of suspected stolen property. During one of the awareness talks at a school, one minor was referred to the Family Violence Child Protection and Sexual Offences Unit for an alleged sexual assault claim.

Lt Gen Ntshinga congratulated the JMC on their work in the Metro over the last three days. "Police officers are on duty 24 hours a day. We need to police the communities and build their trust by being in the faces of criminals continuously. I appreciate all the law enforcement officers who committed themselves to working together with the SAPS. Our one objective is to reduce  crime and we all share a common purpose of making this metro safe. We are here today to support our foot soldiers, to encourage them and to lead them as we take back our space from criminals,’ added Lt Gen Ntshinga.

Lt Gen Liziwe Ntshinga joined the operations