Efforts to eradicate crime in the Nyanga got a major boost on Thursday January 19, when an additional 60 police constables were deployed to work at the police station.
The officers will work in Brown’s Farm, which has been identified as the crime hot spot in the precinct.
Community leaders, residents and senior police officers gathered at Zolani Centre to attend the ceremony and welcome the new recruits.
Over the years, there have been mounting calls for more police officers and additional resources to be deployed in the Nyanga area to assist in the fight against crime. And the deployment of the constables is a one step toward overcoming crime and changing Nyanga’s bad reputation.
Nyanga police station commander Brigadier Vuyisile Ncata said their presence in police uniform should serve as a symbol of protection and reassurance. He said that during the 2016/17 financial year Nyanga police cluster had received 101 new police officers, something that had lifted a heavy burden from his shoulders.
Browns Farm had always been a problematic area because it had no police station.
However, they were over the moon when a mobile police station was opened in October last year. He said their responsibility was to promote safety and security of the people regardless of status, creed or location.
He said the new officers had joined the organisation at the time when crime was increasingly becoming more sophisticated. However, as police officers, they needed to continuously strengthen their collaboration with community stakeholders and create a formidable team against crime.
Brigadier Ncata called on the new recruits to be good listeners as that would help them identify problems timeously.
Police officers needed to be truthful to themselves and should never be involved in any unlawful activities that tarnished the image of the SAPS.
“We have received 60 new police officers and all them will be placed in Browns Farm. We need to work tirelessly in ensuring that we bring this area of Nyanga back to what it was before.
“We need to see you guys making an impact. Criminals should feel that we have received new blood, and we appeal to the community to be our protectors, a shoulder to lean on,” he said.
Chairperson of the Nyanga Community Police Forum (CPF), Buyisile Makasi, said SAPS’s image had been tarnished and so the officers needed to work tirelessly to restore it.
The reality, he said, was that there was a culture of lawlessness in Nyanga and residents tended to worship criminals.
Mr Makasi urged the new recruits to go the extra mile to serve the community and said they should empower themselves with life experiences. “As police officers, they should be able to absorb both professional and social challenges. The success of this organisation is anchored in discipline. We, as the community, need to protect our police officers to enable them to do their job effectively,” he said.
Recruit Mathemba Mdunyelwa said he always knew that he wanted to be a police officer.
The 28-year-old said he hoped that they would make a positive contribution in the community and urged the community to rally behind them.