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Why these Johannesburg police stations are plagued by rampant violence and crime

SAPS Anti-Gang Unit members conduct stop and search operations at the notorious "B-flats" in Eldorado Park.

SAPS Anti-Gang Unit members conduct stop and search operations at the notorious “B-flats” in Eldorado Park.

  • An oversight inspection was conducted at the Eldorado Park police station on Friday. 
  • Station commanders admitted they faced major challenges with regard to random shootings. 
  • Some of the contributing factors were gangsterism and drugs.

Gangsterism and drugs, a lack of trust in the police, frequent protests, a lack of social cohesion and an influx of undocumented foreign nationals are some of the factors which have plagued three police stations in Johannesburg.

This was revealed during an oversight visit by the Gauteng Legislature’s Portfolio Committee on Community Safety at the Eldorado Park police station on Friday.

Residents said the endless complaints of rampant violence and crime necessitated the visits.

The committee received presentations from the station commanders of Eldorado Park, Langlaagte and Sophiatown on the current state of violence and crime in the areas, as well as measures put in place to curb the scourge of criminality.

According to the presentations, all three police stations have experienced random shootings, which contributed to increased murder cases.

Some of the contributing factors identified were gangsterism and drugs.

The chairperson of the portfolio committee, Bandile Masuku, conceded that they faced a big challenge.

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“I think the presentations demonstrated that the policing aspect in the three areas is a big issue.

“The police are hamstrung and constrained by resources in terms of personnel and vehicles, but it also demonstrated that there is a lack of vision and leadership in some of the police stations,” Masuku said.

Masuku said residents had to play their part.

“Crime prevention and policing won’t be effective without social cohesion.”

Masuku said the committee had noticed an inaccuracy in the crime statistics of the three stations.

“We will have to verify and make a proper audit of the numbers because, from the community, they seemed to have more numbers than what the police are reporting.”

Masuku said they would rope in others spheres of government to deal with the contributing factors to crime in the areas.

“If we really have to deal with crime, it is not about the number of police we have on the streets, but it will be about how we address the socio-economic issues that take place every day and the hardships that they have.

“I agree that it should have an integrated, multi-pronged intervention programme.”

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