Cele urges cooperation on rural safety, calls for police forums

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Police Minister Bheki Cele says community and traditional leaders in rural parts of the Eastern Cape should prioritise the creation of community policing forums and work in conjunction with the police to advance law enforcement and combat crime in rural areas, especially during the festive season.

Cele was speaking at the Eastern Cape launch of the annual Festive Season Inspection Roadshow in East London on Thursday.

These newly recruited constables are expected to spread across the Buffalo City Metro to fight crime this festive season.

The police have admitted that they have limited capacity. However, they have called on communities to take the fight to them by setting up community policing forums to help fight crime.

“We have got 62 million South Africans and have about 187 000 police officers so communities will be forever more than the police. We are inviting more communities more CPF and more people getting involved. Even if we increase police vans we should not…the community back, but work with them,” says Cele.

The National Police Commissioner has also assured long-distance bus drivers and travelers that they will prioritise their protection as per the Makhanda High Court ruling.

The court found the National Police Commissioner guilty of contempt of court after failing to provide a safety plan for long-distance buses travelling to the province.

“We are complying with the interdict, we will do exactly what the interdict calls for. No matter how difficult it is. We will escort those buses and on the other side, legally. We will take the matter to court, with the view to also put our side of the story,” says Fannie Masemola, National Police Commissioner.

Cele has also called on police officers to prioritise the protection of women and children including businesses and be aggressive when dealing with cases of gang-related violence.