The Gauteng Provincial Government has taken a zero-tolerance approach to crime. Premier Panyaza Lesufi says the introduction of the Crime Busting Unit in the province should send a strong message to criminals.
Speaking at their passing-out ceremony in Soshanguve, north of Pretoria, Lesufi told the 6 000 new wardens that their duty was not to negotiate with criminals.
Gauteng Premier also hands over a fleet of 200 high-speed vehicles and two helicopters to the police. This is to assist the newly established team of crime prevention wardens expected to work in unison with SAPS and the Metro Police.
Lesufi says, “The provincial government has spent in excess of R450 million to train the wardens. This includes the acquisition of the necessary equipment, like drones, to assist them in their operations.”
Gauteng Premier Panyaza Lesufi unveils anti-crime unit:
The 6 000 wardens completed a four-month training in basic policing and will be deployed to various crime hotspots across Gauteng as of May 1.
The Gauteng Crime Prevention Wardens displaying the Russian Drill. #WarOnCrime #BootsOnTheGround pic.twitter.com/tWzYhEOJni
— GP Department of Community Safety (@GP_CommSafety) April 30, 2023
Deputy Police Minister Cassel Mathale says the first cohort of over 3 000 wardens is expected to start patrolling in May this year, while the second group will begin towards the end of the month. “They will work hand in hand with traffic officials to report crimes and ensure a faster response time.”
[WATCH]: Premier @Lesufi assures Gauteng residents of a good night’s sleep as the Crime Prevention Wardens are given the marching orders to patrol the streets of Gauteng as from Monday, 1 May 2023. @GP_CommSafety #WarOnCrime #BootsOnTheGround pic.twitter.com/dUpwVe5vVE
— Gauteng Provincial Gov (@GautengProvince) April 30, 2023
‘Strong message to criminals’
The initiative intends to strengthen the work of the law enforcement agencies.
Gauteng Community Policing Forum chairperson, Edwin Masilela says the deployment of the Crime Prevention Wardens across the province will send a strong message to criminals.
Masilela says the new unit will help scale down crime. “It is a very important part. We are happy about it. It is like you are standing a better chance of combating crime. And many of them come from the CFP I can tell you that. But importantly, it is that they will close up those crime spaces in this province.”
Work hand-in-hand with SAPS
The new Crime Prevention Wardens will work hand in hand with the SAPS and the Traffic police to report crime and ensure a faster response time. Gauteng police commissioner Elias Mawela says this will assist a great deal in intensifying the fight against crime.
“No, definitely they will assist as at least for every ward in Gauteng there will be this team that is operating 24/7. Working with the stations that are within those wards. Together with the patrollers and CFP. So it’s a force multiplier for us.”