Crime was the focal point at the crime imbizo at the Aviator Hotel on Saturday.
The event, organised by Kempton Park SAPS, saw various stakeholders including the EMPD, taxi associations, NGOs and community members discuss ways and means of tackling crime in the community.
Some of the most problematic crimes in the area, including hijacking, common robbery, rape and common assault, were addressed at the meeting.
“Hijacking and common assault are the most problematic crimes in the community,” said Kempton Park SAPS station commander, Brig Samuel Maredi.
“However, there is a drastic decrease in other crimes and we did it with the help of the community. The neighbourhood watches, security companies and EMPD officers are patrolling with us, which is very helpful.
“From the meeting we have noted the concerns of the community and we will see how best to deal and solve them,” said Maredi. “Overall I am happy with the attendance, there were a lot of role players present, which shows determination and interest in making the community crime-free.
“I would like to host such meetings on a regular basis. I will visit different sectors on a monthly basis, especially those experiencing more problems.”
Among those present was Kempton Park CPF chairperson, Luthando Lubando.
“The meeting went well,” Lubando said. “The attendance grew from last year’s meeting, which means there are more community members that are crime-conscious. “The discussions were fruitful and the information taken from the community will definitely be taken up at station management level in order to find solutions to it.
“I will reiterate that residents shouldn’t wait until these sessions and build up all these incidents, but to rather engage their sector crime forums and give information through them.
“I also think it will be better that the CPF sits with station management on a regular basis and hashes out all these issues the community has rather than waiting for an annual or bi-annual event which might be too late for someone,” Lubando added.
“Another important message to the community is that it is vitally important to report cases. The police are an intelligence-driven organisation and if we as the community don’t give that intelligence to the police, we can’t expect them to police us in the manner we think is correct. Even if you feel that nothing will come of the case, report it. If a trend around that area is established in the relevant manner, solutions can be allocated to curb that problem.”
Vagrancy was among the concerns raised at the meeting, as it leads to house robberies and common robberies on the street. Concerns about prostitution, drugs and how to regulate foreign nationals were also raised.
Capt Jethro Mtshali, spokesperson for Kempton Park SAPS, named some of the most problematic streets in the area as far as drug dealing, hijacking and prostitution were concerned. These include Kerk and Commissioner streets, Pretoria Road and Kempton Road.
Mtshali told Express they were grateful to have a ward councillor, Clr Jaco Terblanche, who was always hammering on these issues. Terblanche said he was pleased with the outcome of the meeting.
“I intend on giving this presentation during my public meetings. It is important that each community member knows about it and the message gets across, which will help create a crime-free area.
“Children need to be able to play in the park or the streets without worrying about getting stolen or hurt,” Terblanche said.
He added that he was particularly interested in the hijacking statistics that came out of the meeting.
“I found it interesting that Commissioner Street came out as the number one street where most hijackings take place, followed by Kerk Street, North Rand Road and Swart Street respectively.
“Kempton Park extensions are the number one hijack areas, which I found interesting because I thought Rhodesfield would be number one.”
“The time-frames indicate that 60 per cent of the crimes happen around 4pm to midnight.”
Terblanche also said police need to regulate liquor outlets a bit more.
“I believe we need to also focus on policing public drinking. We need to have regular visits at liquor outlets during peak hours and check what is going on and ensure that they are operating according to the Liquor Act.”
Mtshali said plans would continuously be put in place to fight crime.
“This meeting will help us develop a programme of action as to how to deal with problems and give feedback on successes or failures.
“We shall continue where there is success, but should there be failures we will go back to the drawing board and see what other mechanism can be used.”