Police go local with resources to confront rampant crime
Police are set to re-direct resources and capacity from a national to local policing level in a move that will see the installation of regional commissioners to confront crime where it occurs.
National police commissioner General Khehla Sitole said the existing cluster commissioners will report to the new regional commissioners as part of his turn-around vision.
“We use the existing resources but we shift them‚ take them where the crime is‚ and we have also adopted the principle of understanding crime takes place on the ground and not at the strategic level‚” he said in Pretoria on Wednesday.
Sitole said more than just bringing the capacity and resources to the people‚ “regionalisation” also meant bringing authority and experience closer to the people because criminals were experienced and strategic.
He said with this turn-around strategy anchored on resources‚ capacity and experience at local level policing would be equal to the tough task of tackling rampant crime.
Police Minister Fikile Mbalula said crime did not happen at the police headquarters in Pretoria‚ where the most senior police officers were‚ but at a local level.
“We need that experience on the ground. They ought to be added to the capacity we already have on the ground‚” the minister said.
He said the regionalisation would start in Gauteng province‚ where he said “criminality is cooked‚ fashioned and redistributed to the country”.
Mbalula said the strengthening of local policing areas would then be rolled out throughout the country‚ saying by April regionalisation would be in KwaZulu-Natal.
He said regionalisation would mean responding quicker and better than provincial structures‚ which he said would still exist as a constitutional requirement but that responsive regional commissioners with adequate resources would now assist them in their work.
"The goal is to reduce violent crime sharply by targeting known high crime geographical areas. Our people are under siege from violent criminals‚ greedy public and private sector officials. We must unleash the might of state power onto them all‚" the minister said.