Marikana leaders beg police to conduct foot patrols instead of sitting in their cars

Marikana leaders beg police to conduct foot patrols instead of sitting in their cars

- Marikana informal settlement leaders in Philippi East have asked the police to embark on foot patrols to help battle rampant crime levels

- Marikana residence have been living in fear after violent crimes spiked in recent months

- Community leaders and police officials met on Monday night to discuss how best to move forward

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Marikana informal settlement community leaders in Philippi East have pleaded with the police to conduct foot patrols rather than sit in their police vehicles and chat. Community leaders believe proper patrolling will help curb the rampant crime level in the area.

Leaders say residence in the area have been living in fear in recent months after violent crimes spiked, this spike led to the murder of one man this past weekend. Late last year a similar spike saw 11 people killed in just one night.

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On Monday evening, community leaders met with local police chiefs to discuss the situation and to try to find a workable solution to the problem while they waited for news from Community Safety MEC Dan Plato about when they would receive patrolling equipment. gathered that police spokesperson Andre Traut said investigations into the past weekend’s shooting were ongoing, but as yet no-one had been arrested.

Community leaders said while police were regularly in the area they were not doing a satisfactory job of patrolling and preventing crime.

Community leader Xolani Tukwayo said: “Yes, more police were deployed, but what is the use if they come to the area, park their cars and chat?

In most cases, police drive up and down one street and then drive out of the area again, this according to Tukwayo did not amount to proper patrolling.

“If the police would patrol the same way they did after former police minister Fikile Mbalula came to the area, the criminals wouldn't be able to terrorise the community like this,” he said.

Plato’s spokesperson, Ewald Botha, said the department was engaged with various Neighbourhood Watch programmes who are known as patrollers.

Botha said: “The MEC regularly engages with communities on an array of safety-related matters. With regards to Marikana, his last engagement was towards the end of March, when he met community members regarding safety concerns.”

Plato and the department of community safety are scheduled to report back to the communities in May and June. “We look forward to working with the Marikana community and the safety role-players to help increase safety in the area through the programmes and interventions of the department and safety authorities,” he said.

Community leaders have resorted to forming informal neighbourhood patrols to protect those who work late.

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