Mangaung residents in Bloemfontein want government to fast track the deployment of metro police. Mangaung municipality became a Metro in 2011.
Residents and taxi operators believe metro police will help fight rampant crime in the CBD.
Despite appointing a Metro Police Chief last year, Mangaung is yet to establish a metro police force and residents want answers. The say the metro police will assist with lawlessness in their CBD.
“I think from my side it will be much better for metro cops to be in the CBD to assist with crime and traffic,” says one of the residents.
The announcement that there will be metro police made news headlines. Estimates that it will cost the municipality R30 million angered opposition parties.
However, the Metro has refuted those allegations. Officials say the establishment of metro police is in the pipeline.
“When we came, we found the issue of metros on the table but we need to follow piece of legislation and budget but the MEC is busy with it,” says Metro Executive Mayor Olly Mlamleli
Meanwhile, the Free State government says it is studying whether it is viable for the municipality to have metro police officers.
“It is very important that we understand this process is at its earliest stages of consultation with relevant stakeholders. Currently the request is with the national commissioner and in due time the minister will make a pronouncement,” says Department of Police, Roads and Transport spokesperson Hillary Mophethe.
The metro says it plans to recruit 600 metro police. It says they will be trained and hired in tranches.