Rosettenville police station management will appear before parliament’s portfolio committee on police on Wednesday to explain why recent incidents of violent vigilante justice happened on their watch.
Chairperson of committee Francois Beukman said members of parliament believed that these incidents in Rosettenville in Johannesburg could have been avoided if the community had more trust in the police.
Residents in that area recently burned down several brothels and drug dens in an outpouring of rage against crime.
The residents have claimed they had appealed to the police to shut these crime hotspots down but that no action was taken.
They also alleged that this was because SA Police Service (Saps) officers were being paid by those with vested interests in the sale of illegal drugs and prostitution to turn a blind eye.
“We cannot allow citizens’ trust in law enforcement agencies to erode any further. It is patently clear that urgent interventions are needed at certain police stations,” Beukman said.
He added: “Cluster and station commanders should ensure that the trust between the community and SA Police Service is strengthened.
This could be done through proactive steps, “such as constant visible policing, the deployment of specialised units, better coordination of crime intelligence units and improved relations with Community Policing Forums, as well as improving response time to crime complaints by members of the public”.
Beukman said the committee’s concern was reinforced by the recent crime survey released by Statistics South Africa last week indicating that the public’s trust in the police service was diminishing.
It was imperative that steps be taken to urgently resolve past grievances against Saps.
All complaints of police misconduct and alleged corruption had to be properly investigated, he said.