Philippi officers step up fight against crime

Warrant Officer Ernest Smith and Sergeant Nomephelo Lolwane check the recovered stolen building material.

As they face accusations of being ineffective, Philippi police recently scored a victory when they recovered stolen construction equipment valued at more than R200 000.

The tools had been stolen from Kwa-Faku Primary School which is being renovated. Philippi police spokesperson, Captain Bheki Xulu, said the arrests were made last week after police acted on a tip-off from the community.

He added that police officers were working around the clock to improve safety in the area and that if residents and other stakeholders worked together, criminals would not have the space to operate.

He urged the residents in other areas to do the same so that they could intensify their efforts in fighting crime. Captain Xulu said they had identified Lower Crossroads as one of the areas that has a high crime rate and were monitoring it closely.

“The suspect is 27-years-old and would make a court appearance soon. We applaud the residents for providing information and tips to us.

We want them to do that because they know these criminals. We want to bring change in our communities with the assistance of residents,” he said.

Captain Xulu said robbery and car hijackings were among the most common crimes in this area and Luzuko.

He said they had discovered that the perpetrators of these crimes were not from these areas but rather from nearby areas.

Ward 35 councillor, Mboniswa Chitha, said the strong relationship they had fostered between themselves and Philippi officers was yielding the desired outcomes. He said as community leaders they had also taken a firm stance in the fight against crime and drug abuse in their community.

He said they wanted to send a strong message that crime would never be tolerated in their community.

“We are fiercely fighting crime in our area. Police officers would never win the fight against crime if we do not intervene.

“We must not harbour criminals. We have declared war against criminals and we won’t budge on that stance,” he said.

Resident Nokubonga Yawa, who has two children at Kwa-Faku Primary, said she was glad that police officers had recovered the tools as the theft had stalled the completion of work at their school.