LOOK: “Country in Blue” police visibility operation launches in KZN
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DURBAN - POLICE unveiled new policing strategies they hope will increase police visibility and squeeze out crime.
This weekend they launched the police visibility operation called “Country in Blue”, a nationwide initiative, at the Inanda policing precinct on Saturday.
In attendance were the Minister of Police, General Bheki Cele, the Deputy Minister of Police Cassel Mathale and the National Commissioner of SAPS General Khehla Sitole, among others.
Police said the Inanda policing precinct had over the years recorded the highest rates of contact crimes such as sexual offences and murder.
Cele called for better collaboration between communities and the police.
"Policing has changed and this means police stations are no longer the centre of policing, streets should be centre of policing. More boots and blue lights on the ground not only means police officers are visible at all times to deter criminality but officers should also be quick to respond to the needs of communities," he said.
Sitole said the “Country in Blue” concept was one of several crime-combating strategies to maximise police visibility.
The SAPS wanted to be everywhere all the time, he said, adding that drone policing would be introduced in certain areas to ensure visibility.
“This is a bid to normalise and stabilise problematic areas or hot spots such as this one. Our slogan is squeezing the space for criminals through a declaration of a psychological war, by being everywhere all the time. They won't have anywhere to go," said Sitole.
The visibility strategy was an integrated and collaborative approach, working closely with all security forces, civil society and government agencies, he said.
Police said as part of this concept, all operational SAPS vehicles on the road would have their emergency warning blue lights switched on from sunset to sunrise - 6pm to 6am.
“Under the theme, extending our reach through blue light visibility, its overall goal is to prevent and combat a host of crimes which include all 17 community reported crimes; GBVF, aggravated robberies such as carjacking, business and residential robberies commonly known as trio crimes as well as the tracing of wanted suspects and the proliferation of firearms,” the SAPS said in a statement.
Police called on citizens and people living in the country to take an active role in preventing and combating crime by naming criminals within communities.
This information may be brought to the attention of the SAPS through the MySAPS App which can be downloaded on any smart phone or by calling the Crime Stop number on 0860010111.