Residents served by the Bloemspruit police have to wait an average of more than 66 minutes before the police finally respond to complaints of serious crime. These include so-called Alpha complaints, which relate to threatening circumstances.
This is according to a written answer from the minister of police, Bheki Cele, to a question that the DA presented to him in the provincial legislature.
Other Free State police stations where the response time for category Alpha complaint is longer than 30 minutes include Mangaung District (37:16), Park Road (39:38), Kagisanong (54:21), Mangaung (30:09), Welcome (31:10), Tseseng (36:06) and Kopanong (36:59).
In a small town like Theunissen, it will take the police an average of 26 minutes and 41 seconds to respond to such an emergency, in Heidedal 29:19, Wesselsbron 21:25, Hertzogville 26:28, Tierpoort 29:59, Glen 20:28 , and in Saltpan it will take the police 24 minutes and 27 seconds to respond.
George Michalakis, the DA’s spokesperson for security and justice in the National Council of Provinces (NRP), says this is a clear and practical example of how the lack of police resources such as visible policing and vehicles affects the safety of the public.
“In a life-threatening emergency, no one has the time to wait for the police to finally respond.
“Keeping communities safe is a core constitutional function of the police and an integral part of the social contract between the government and its citizens.
“In the absence of this protection, citizens and communities are forced to protect their families and property themselves,” says Michalakis.
“The DA will submit further questions to the minister about how the police plan to fulfill this function without resources while protection for high-profile ANC politicians continues to take precedence.”