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'We cannot co-exist with criminals' says Mbalula engaging Helenvale leaders

Nov 18, 2017
'We cannot co-exist with criminals' says Mbalula engaging Helenvale leaders

The Minister of Police, Fikile Mbalula, on Friday met with the community leaders of Helenvale, Port Elizabeth. Helenvale is an area engulfed by drugs and gang violence.

The visit forms part of Minister Mbalula’s ongoing community visits, in mobilizing community to work together with the Police in fighting crime.

Minister Mbalula engaged with community leaders on how acts of gangsterism has taken over the streets of Helenvale. 

The community of this area expressed their intimidation and fears on speaking out as to who the perpetrators are, as this would risk the safety and surety of their own families.

Minister Mbalula was also informed that gangsters have started to recruit young learners into their circles and further requested an urgent intervention which is needed to ensure the safety of these young learners.

“These gangsters have started to recruit our children from schools, but as community leaders, we remain upbeat that working with the Police, we will defeat these criminals,” a Community leader commented.

Community leaders agreed to revive street committees, and appreciated the work done by Operation Command Centre (OCC).  The OCC is an intelligence lead operation unit piloted in Port Elizabeth last year.

“Since the introduction of OCC, we have seen more convictions being made and Police response being quicker,” a Community Police Forum (CPF) leader said.

“I applaud your presence Minister, we must work together in getting rid of illegal firearms. The Metro Police will work as a force multiplier to the Police. I also want to congratulate the Police gangster unit team, as they are doing a great job,” Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality MMC Safety and Security, John Best, said.

In his responses Minister Mbalula, informed community leaders that, a Police station will be built and land has been secured. This will further strengthen the work of the Police in combating crime.

“We cannot co-exist with criminals, we are oil and water. I don’t want Police who are cowards, Police must understand, policing is a calling, it is a thankless job. As a police man or woman you risk your life and nobody will say thank you,” Mbalula added.

In his conclusion, Minister Mbalula promised community leaders that he will be back, for further engagements and follow ups.

“We came, we heard, we saw, in two weeks, I will be back, entering house by house, street by street. We cannot allow people to live in state where they give up hope where gangs have upper hand. I also congratulate the police on their efforts. Gangs will not be allowed to rule in our community. We will make it unbearable for them to live," he said.