DA claims about the EMPD ‘are suspect’, says metro police

Just because the number of operations mounted by Ekurhuleni Metro Police Department (EMPD) has declined, does not mean the EMPD is losing the fight against crime.

“For this kind of claim to be taken seriously and regarded as credible, concrete, verifiable figures that criminality has spiked should have been furnished to enable comparison,” says Chief Supt Wilfred Kgasago, metro police spokesperson.

“Is it not evident that the plausibility of the claims is suspect?” he asked.

Also read:

EMPD operations dropped by half in 2017 – DA

Kgasago was reacting to a statement made by Clr Jaco Terblanche that crime prevention efforts and arrests by the EMPD had decreased by almost half in 2017 from 2016.

Terblanche obtained the figures from the MMC of community safety, Clr Vivian Chauke, at the February council meeting.

“These statistics display that very little was done in the City of Ekurhuleni to protect the city’s residents,” Terblanche said.

Kgasago added: “Are those levelling this accusation not well-versed with the concept of displacement of crime? What if the numerically superior figures of the 2016 operations made the City too hot for criminals to handle and they decided to take their nefarious deeds elsewhere?”

He asked these questions: “Is it not common knowledge that towards the end of 2016 and almost the whole of 2017 land grabs and service delivery protests were on the increase? Is it not widely known that the last quarter of 2017 was the period in which by-elections took place in the City?

“Are we not all aware that with the by-elections (2017) looming, then (2016) was an opportunity for certain formations to destabilise the situation for selfish reasons? Is it not common sense that with the escalation of service delivery protests and the like it became imperative to ensure that we work smarter guided by informational statistics to fight crime and deploy numbers in such a fashion that our huge mandate of crime prevention, traffic policing and by-law enforcement is covered?”

Kgasago said every second year the EMPD trains not less 150 recruits in an effort to significantly up the numbers of officers on the ground. Currently, 264 recruits are in training.

“Evidently, the EMPD continually endeavours to increase the number of officers on the ground to ensure that crime is combated effectively.

“Last but not least, the EMPD on February 23, in spite of being numerically inferior as compared to other metros, was bestowed with an award for the best metropolitan police department in crime prevention in Gauteng by the Gauteng Community Safety Department,” Kgasago said.

  AUTHOR
Kempton Express

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