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Police body-worn cameras, incentives for neighbourhood watches and a highway patrol unit are part of Durban’s crime-fighting plan

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Recruiting more Metro police officers, training Neighbourhood Watch members and a Highway Patrol Unit are some of the “bold initiatives” eThekwini Municipality has taken to fight crime.

In his State of the City address last week, Durban mayor Mxolisi Kaunda said the initiatives, which were announced last year, appeared to be successful.

“Today we want to report that the city has established a Highway Patrol Unit to help respond to car hijackings, robberies and cash-in-transit robberies.  This has also helped to reduce the police response time to all accidents that take place around highways.”

“Another important initiative involves a partnership between the Department of Community Safety and Liaison, SAPS, Safer Cities and Metro Police which seeks to empower members of community fighting structures. About 2600 members out of 3500 registered members of eThekwini Neighbourhood Watch have received training to help them work better with law enforcement agencies and within the confines of the law,” he said.

The city is currently exploring incentive packages for neighbourhood watches to motivate them as they are also part of our solution to prevent crime in the CBD and residential areas.

Durban mayor Mxolisi Kaunda

Kaunda has also directed the city administration to formulate an urgent policy to donate old fleets to crime-fighting structures as part of its effort to make them functional. 

“We welcome the intervention by the provincial government led by Premier Nomusa Dube-Ncube of providing tools of trade to all crime-fighting structures in the province.  This includes vehicles, uniforms and two-way radios,” he said.

The number of Metro Police patrols in identified hotspots has been increased as part of the city’s visible policing strategy. 

“This includes heightened visibility in entertainment precincts and tourist sites such as Florida Road, Umhlanga Lighthouse, Umlazi, Davenport, Hillcrest and Beachfront Promenade. We also have a Bicycle Patrol Section dedicated to tourists’ safety within the Point Waterfront.”

“To fight the scourge of smash-and-grab incidents, joint operations are being conducted in hot spot areas which include M4 and Anton Lembede Street, Margaret Mncadi Avenue, Maydon Wharf Road under the bridge, Smith Street and Brook Street, Che Guevara Road, uMbilo Road, Anderson Road in Pinetown and other areas,” said Kaunda.

He said the drive to recruit 400 Metro police officers per year to reach the 5000 target was ongoing.

“We are also investing in smart policing as a proactive major to build the police of the future. The procurement of body-worn cameras and dashboard cameras will not only improve policing, but it will also assist police in gathering evidence in preparation for successful prosecutions,” said Kaunda.

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