Authorities cannot turn a blind eye to the attacks on police. So says Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (POPCRU) spokesperson, Richard Mamabolo in the wake of a series of attacks on police officials, which it believes has become “a perturbing trend cannot be left unattended.”
There is outright condemnation after a police officer was attacked and killed in Lavender Hill whilst responding to gang violence in the area on Monday night. This follows two weeks after another attack on six Anti-Gang Unit Members, who were shot and injured as they were tracing suspects in Samora Machel.
“We urge police officers to work in larger groups and be wary of the environments they operate under, and when their lives are under threat, they should act decisively. Police can no longer die with their firearms,” said Mambolo.
“In the Western Cape, we have just under 2000 people that have been killed due to gang-related violence this year alone. The statistics are not good. We think that there should be more effort put into ensuring that we build working relations between communities and police.”
He emphasised the relationship between violence and gangsterism and how it affects the minds and lives of children who often look up to these gangsters.
“The levels of gangsterism within our communities create a bad impression for youngsters. That is why we’ve got gang-related violence in our schools. They look up to these gangsters. They see them as role models. That obviously changes the fabric of society,” said Mamabolo.
POPCRU believes that there need to be good working relations and collective responsibility established between the public and the police. If both the public and the police force are proactive and co-operative- then change can be manifested. This seems like the only plausible resolution.
“We urge the SAPS management to speedily attend to ensuring the increased of police officers, improved infrastructural integrity and tools of work in ensuring visibility and better service delivery.”
Mamabolo said that the army or police systems being implemented is not a very viable solution without the community working alongside the police to bring justice and safety.
“The key thing here is the community. The role of a community… that will ensure that in the long-term we deal with all these challenges,” he adds.
Whilst this might seem a logical step towards development, the police force is seemingly besieged with building the working relations between the public and themselves to ensure the safety and wellbeing of everyone. VOC