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The metro police chief is pleased with the safe festive season in Joburg. He attributes this to the hard work of his officers and the co-operation of the public.
THROUGH the vigilance of metro police officers and the co-operation of motorists, Joburgers had a safe, hassle- and crime-free festive season.


JMPD chief Chris NgcoboPolice worked hard to ensure safety of citizens, says JMPD chief Chris NgcoboThese are the sentiments of Chris Ngcobo, the chief of the Johannesburg metro police department (JMPD). The department was able "to significantly reduce the number of deaths and serious accidents on Joburg roads" over the festive season, he says.

"The public – both Joburg residents and visitors – gave us their full support by keeping to the rules of the road and co-operating fully with the JMPD's efforts to enforce traffic laws."

He adds that the force's improved traffic systems and high visibility paid off. "We want to thank motorists and commuters for their patience and co-operation."

The latest JMPD statistics show a marked decrease in the number of cases of drunken driving and speeding. The drop is attributed to strict law enforcement.

In all, about 64 255 vehicles were stopped and checked, with 168 motorists arrested for speeding and 108 arrested for drunken driving. Across the country, about four million vehicles were stopped and over two million fines were issued throughout the festive season.

Transport Minister S'bu Ndebele announced that 1 551 people were killed on the country's roads between 1 December 2010 and 5 January this year, it was reported yesterday. In the previous year, between 1 December 2009 and 11 January 2010, there were 1 582 deaths.

"The 2010 festive season was one of the safest periods in recent years – both on our roads and with regards to general crime in Johannesburg," Ngcobo says.

Ngcobo acknowledges that the JMPD's success was aided by the media, which helped to raise public awareness about road safety. "We had excellent co-operation between law enforcement agencies, the media and the public – a relationship which bodes very well for the future," he points out.

Safety remains a priority, however, and holidaymakers who are still to return to town are urged to be cautious. "The coming weekend will still be a busy period on our roads and the JMPD will not relax its law enforcement efforts."

He also praises his officers for their dedication and commitment during the December holidays. "Officers had to work long hours at time to ensure safety ... We have made significant strides to improve the safety environment in Johannesburg and I am very confident that we can build on this experience in the months to come."

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