The newly appointed Langa police station commander Colonel Tebogo Jacobs wants his officers to have a sense of urgency when dealing with the community’s complaints.
He said his members have to be “very quick” in response to crime.
Speaking to Vukani at his office, he said the community matters most and police have no reason not to deliver a decent service.
“People want to be safe. Langa has crime like any other area but it is the question of engaging our people. We need to also sort ourselves as managers. People are not happy with our services we are giving them. There is a lack of trust, rightly so. Our members are also involved in so many bad things,” he told Vukani.
Langa SAPS welcomed Colonel Jacobs on November 21.
Colonel Jacobs has decades of experience within the policing environment. He has been the station commander at police stations, recently in the Free State, Branford, Theunissen and Heidadal in Bloemfontein before coming to Parow. Sandton, Fairlands, Brixton, as well as Midrand.
“I have travelled and know a lot about the communities and the behaviour of our own members. But we need to capacitate both the community and our members about a lot of things. For us also to be able to work with the community there needs to be proper communication. We need to increase the pace when we deal with their issues. We should mobilise everyone on board, your businesspeople, taxi owners, neighbourhood watches and community police forums,” he stressed.
Asked about the resources or lack of it, he responded by saying vehicles are there, however, they need servicing. But he said it is everybody’s responsibility to make sure that the police vehicles are in good condition at his station. “If you drive a car you know what is needed. It is your duty to report in in time for the vehicle to be taken to where it should go and be fixed,” he said.
He said he was determined to focus on the restoration of trust between the community and police.
He emphasised that the integrated approach between the community, stakeholders and police is one of the solutions in restoring Langa to its glorious state.
“Our responsibility is to serve people, shape Langa to its glory days. I understand that people commit crimes, that also is a sense of frustration but we need to serve them so they will have full trust in us. They need to know if they report something to us, we will be there on time. That trust between police and people needs to be restored,” he said.
He furthermore plans to eliminate alcohol abuse, mob justice and killings in Langa. He is adamant that in the little time he has been there, things have been shaping up. He made a promise to communicate with the community at all times.
Langa CPF chairperson Alfred Magwaca has welcomed the new commander.
“We did meet him at our annual general meeting recently. He is a promising person to work with the community as per their demands. He promised a change at the police station. He has an open door policy by the look of things,” he said.
However, he said they were not informed about the previous station commander leaving and that is not what they want as the Langa community. He said they need to be informed about their station before they lose good police officers.