Joburg metro police will use every tool available to them to stop the killing of its officers, four of whom have died on duty this week.
THE City is dismayed by the recent spate of killings of metro police officers, but has assured the public that their safety will not be compromised.
MMC Matshidio MfikoeMMC Matshidio Mfikoe: Police killers will face the full might of the law Portfolio head of public safety Matshidiso Mfikoe conveyed her condolences to the family and colleagues of Officer Thembeleni Kuboni, who was shot on duty on Tuesday, 24 April.
He was the fourth metro police officer to be killed on duty this week. Mfikoe said she condemned the persisting trend of killing police officers, who had dedicated their lives to making the streets of Johannesburg safe and secure all the time.
She vowed that her department, under which the Johannesburg metro police department (JMPD) and emergency management services (EMS) fall, would use every tool available to crack down on the perpetrators behind the ambushing of police officers, and to make sure that they face the full might of the law.
To improve the safety of officers, from now on all staff would be encouraged to travel in groups and officers who lived in the same areas should escort one another, she said. “Officers are discouraged from travelling alone, especially early in the morning and late at night.”
The families of those police who had lost their lives while on duty would be compensated by the City, as was standard practice. Mfikoe is also in talks with the JMPD’s chief of police, Chris Ngcobo, to look at ways to ensure dedicated transport to and from work is provided for all officers who do not have cars.
The spokesperson for public safety, Anda Mbikwana, said the department was committed to working hand-in-hand with communities to build a safe, secure and resilient city that protected, served and empowered its residents, business community and visitors.
Mbikwana said the human and social development cluster would continue to create safer communities in partnership with the people and various stakeholders, with the objective of reclaiming the parks and squares to make them safe for children and other vulnerable groups.
Plans to curb crime include deploying at least 10 metro police officers per ward throughout the city. Furthermore, the department said it applauded the JMPD internal affairs unit, which led to the swift arrest of a metro police officer who allegedly solicited a R1 000 bribe from a motorist.
On 24 April, an employee of the Zimbabwe government lodged a formal complaint with the unit that a female officer took money from him and failed to provide him with a machine printed receipt; instead he was given a handwritten notice.
The corrupt officer did not issue a traffic fine for an expired license disc but took the money from the complainant after threatening to have him arrested. The complainant positively identified the officer among a group of other officers and she was arrested on the spot by the internal affairs unit.
She is detained at the Hillbrow Police Station on charges of bribery and corruption.
Mfikoe reiterated that the City and her department in particular was serious about rooting out corruption in its department and misconduct by its employees, and ensuring that there was clean governance. She has also urged the public to report corruption and motorists to avoid paying bribes to officers as they would be arrested and charged with bribery and corruption.
In due course, her office would release a dedicated cellphone number and an email address to the public to report misconduct and corruption by metro police and EMS staff. This intervention would not overshadow the existing crime line, but would help the public to report crime instantly and enable her office to deal directly with complaints and provide answers and solutions.
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