A child and her mother walk to school with Anti Gang Unit members standing around on an open field in Hanover Park. Picture: Henk Kruger/ANA/African News Agency
A child and her mother walk to school with Anti Gang Unit members standing around on an open field in Hanover Park. Picture: Henk Kruger/ANA/African News Agency
The new South African Police Anti Gang Unit walking the streets of Hanover Park ahead of the official launch by President Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: Henk Kruger/ANA/African News Agency
The new South African Police Anti Gang Unit walking the streets of Hanover Park ahead of the official launch by President Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: Henk Kruger/ANA/African News Agency
The new South African Police Anti Gang Unit walking the streets of Hanover Park ahead of the official launch by President Cyril Ramaphosa.  Picture: Henk Kruger/ANA/African News Agency
The new South African Police Anti Gang Unit walking the streets of Hanover Park ahead of the official launch by President Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: Henk Kruger/ANA/African News Agency
The new South African Police Anti Gang Unit walking the streets of Hanover Park ahead of the official launch by President Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: Henk Kruger/ANA/African News Agency
The new South African Police Anti Gang Unit walking the streets of Hanover Park ahead of the official launch by President Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: Henk Kruger/ANA/African News Agency

Cape Town - The Chairperson of  Parliament's Portfolio Committee on Police, Francois Beukman, has hailed the re-establishment of the anti-gang unit.

The specialised anti-gang unit was launched on Thursday and is aimed at getting rid of prisons gangs inside violence-ridden communities.

Top cop Jeremy Vearey, who leads the unit, said the unit’s strategic approach is two-pronged. The operation hits the gangs’ business operations and their network operations in neighbourhoods and inside prisons.

“The committee has on a number of occasions during fifth Parliament pushed for the re-establishment of these specialised units, which should be specially trained to deal effectively with changing environments in gang-infested areas. The committee is of the view that the unit will play a central role in weakening the capacity of gangs to operate and put a halt to activities, such as the production and sale of drugs, while reducing illegal firearms and the high incidence of gang-related murders,” said Beukman.

The new unit will be bolstered by a clear legislative framework and resources which until now had either not existed or were not sufficient.

Hundreds of police officers, including the Anti Gang Unit members, arrives in Hanover Park. Video: Henk Kruger / African News Agency (ANA)

"A key pillar for success will be the capacity to gather information, which requires cooperation with intelligence agencies. Also, communities must play a leading role by furnishing the unit and the police in general with information that will ensure its effective operation," said Beukman.

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