Newly trained Metro Police Officials from Nelson Mandela Bay will take to the streets to put their knowledge to test combating crime under the wing of the South African Police Service.
Fresh out of training, all 111 law enforcement officers took a constitutional oath on Wednesday at a passing out parade held in Port Elizabeth.
Their main focus would be on traffic and bylaw enforcement.Visible policing and crime prevention will be done in conjunction with SAPS as agreed to by Provincial Police Commissioner Lt General Liziwe Ntshinga.
The establishment of the Metro Police Force in the city has been coming along for years, stumbling upon several road blocks prohibiting its materialisation.
Speaking to the media, Metro Police Chief, Yolanda Farrow said that the officers were now in a process of gaining experience.
“We will concentrate on getting our officers to gain the experience…everybody is asking about the gang violence, everyone is asking about the northerns, so to answer that question we will with SAPS go into the northerns, they as the lead agency we will work together in the northerns,” said Farrow.
The metro’s head for Safety and Security, John Best, recalled a time where the seed for a Metro Police Force was planted at a council meeting over 20 years ago.
“In 1989, Bobby Stevenson who was part of council stood up boldly and said we need a metro police force, 20 years later in 2009 council agreed to investigate the feasibility of the project. We were ready to launch the metro police before the World Cup in 2010 but were instructed to hold back,” said Best.
Best said that after numerous failed attempts the Metro Police Force would now function from two precincts in the city.
“We have two precincts that have been divided, we have 60 wards so we divided 30/30 wards each. One precinct will work from Uitenhage and the other will be in Bloemendal. The intention is and we have put up a budget proposal for the next three years, and it’s all depending on budget, to increase by another 100 [officials] over the next three years,” said Best
Executive Mayor, Athol Trollip, said that every community in the city would have metro police officers on duty and no one area would enjoy a “monopoly” of metro police services.
“In Port Elizabeth Central part of town there is a massive crime challenge there, we going to be focusing in that area, we going to be focusing in the northern areas, we going to be focusing in Uitenhage, in Despatch, in Khayamnandi, Kwanobuhle and Motherwell. So across the city were there are issues we will deploy them,” said Trollip.
-African News Agency