The North West MEC for Community Safety and Transport Management, Sello Lehari says it is not all police officers who are unscrupulous and reluctant to assist communities.

Speaking during the joint Ministerial Imbizo hosted by the Deputy Minister in the Presidency, Kenneth Morolong and Deputy Minister of Police, Cassel Mathale at Ipelegeng Township in Schweizer Reneke, MEC Lehari applauded police who are dedicated for their unwavering commitment in serving communities.

“Though there could be some in the Police who are unscrupulous, there are many who live for the profession. If you work closely with police you will realise how loyally they serve our communities with dedication under difficult circumstances.

“They avail themselves under difficult conditions, having to face hard-core criminals, with their lives in danger,” said MEC Lehari who conceded that at the same time there are those who tarnish the uniform.

He appreciated the presence of communities who came in numbers and participated fully during the imbizo, which he described as a sign of willingness to work with the police in the fight against crime and in creating a safer environment.

“This session showcases the fruits which our 30 year old democracy continues to yield, as we are now able to express ourselves openly, create platforms where communities can engage their government freely without censorship on issues relating to service delivery,” said MEC Lehari.

The Provincial Community Policing Forum (CPF) chairperson, Mr Robert Malungane called on parents to work with teaches and school governing bodies to protect their learners and cultivate a sense of responsibility and discipline at a tender age.

Mr Malungane was responding to a concern raised by a community member who raised an issue regarding violence and gangsterism in schools. Mr Malungane further added that the school environment can be safe when parents work together with teachers and School Governing Bodies (SGB).

“We need your attendance at parents meeting, so that we work together to instil discipline on these learners. It is also important as community to work with police to strengthen the fight against crime,” he said.

Amongst issues raised by the community, is the high crime rate and drug usage in townships, limited police visibility, lack of police resources like vehicles and staff shortage and traveling long distance to access police services. There had also been concern about illegal foreign nationals who are suspected to be involved in ciminality.

Other concerns and complaints were responded to immediately government entities with others to be followed up for proper investigation by relevant specialised police units.

Deputy Ministers addressed the community members an in general encouraged communities not to withdraw cases especially gender based violence and sexual assaults. The imbizo was held with District Development Model approach where all state organs from national, province and municipal level work together.

Though this was a community engagement against crime, issues around service delivery in general were raised.