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COPS FORCED TO WALK TO CRIME SCENES

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NGUDZENI – With no working vehicle, police officers at Ngudzeni find themselves relying on the very public they are supposed to protect in order to catch criminals.


The newly-created police post at Ngudzeni is said to be so under-equipped, such that officers can’t carry out their work to the expectation of the public, which paradoxically had their hopes raised when it was unveiled about a year ago.
This publication learnt that officers stationed at the police post are forced to either walk to crime scenes or to wait for a day or so in order to get the lone vehicle that was allocated to the nearby Dumako Police Post.


A source said most of the time when a report about a crime comes in, officers are left with no choice but to either wait for assistance from other police stations or members of the public.


Watch


The source made the example of a recent murder incident where the area’s community police were asked to keep watch over a corpse for the whole night because the police had no vehicle to attend to the crime scene.
“Even the suspect in the gruesome murder was conveyed to the police post by a local motorist, using his own vehicle” confirmed another resident.


 According to the residents, the lack of mobility for the police officers based at the police post has severely impacted  the station’s ability to reduce crime in the area.
The residents feel that the under-equipped post does very little to strengthen law enforcement in the area, as people are at times forced to turn to other residents for help whenever an emergency situation arises. Under the circumstances, people are afraid that trust in the police post may also go down, as people might find it less effective.


“You go to the station to report a crime but they will take ages to attend to it because they have no vehicle. This reduces reporting a crime incident into a simple ritual as there is no timely response,” lamented a resident.


Visible


The residents also complained that the unavailability of a vehicle made the police less visible in the area, as there were no patrols conducted to restrain criminal activity.


“This creates a mammoth task for the assigned officers as it becomes difficult for them to reassure the public that there is some police activity in the area,” argued another resident.
Meanwhile, Chief Police Information and Communications Officer Superintendent Phindile Vilakati conceded that the police force was facing challenges, which she attributed to government’s obtaining economic crisis.


Vilakati told this publication that she was aware that there were problems of transport in some police stations, and appealed to members of the public to be patient, as the police force was doing all it could to assist the public.
“It’s not that place alone.


“We have a serious shortage of vehicles, so we prioritise how we utilise the limited resources that we have.
“The situation compels us to first release vehicles to places where there is an emergency,” she explained.

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