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We should not have to do the police’s job

Law enforcement officials, including the Reeston and Quigney crime forums, launched a crackdown at the East London beachfront on Wednesday, chasing away illegal car washers operating in the area and conviscating wash buckets. Searches were also conducted for weapons and illegal substances.
Law enforcement officials, including the Reeston and Quigney crime forums, launched a crackdown at the East London beachfront on Wednesday, chasing away illegal car washers operating in the area and conviscating wash buckets. Searches were also conducted for weapons and illegal substances.
Image: ALAN EASON

While the rest of Buffalo City Metro residents enjoyed time off with their families, a group of patriots gave that up to keep their communities safe, including in  Mdantsane, Nompumelelo, Beacon Bay, Gonubie, Quigney and Duncan Village. 

This is a special group who deserve the accolade of our heroes this festive season.

While many of us left for family holidays out of town, these community safety forums put the shoulder to the wheel.

They rolled up their sleeves to protect their communities.

Admittedly, there has been controversy around some of these groups given the excessive force they sometimes use in fighting crime.

But with crime spiralling out of control, some of the groups have been praised for the work they do in keeping communities relatively safe.

Citizens are growing impatient with the police and their inability to ensure community safety. And this is a growing trend across the country.

Those who can afford it are forced to pay big money for private security members to patrol their streets.

In townships, street committees are mainly formed to keep residents safe.

Community activism is to be commended, but the growing trend should be a worry for the country’s authorities.

It signals a failing state.

Civilians are not properly trained to apply the country’s laws and when they overstep there is little protection for them in court, unlike the police.

On Thursday, we reported that there are R7.5bn worth of pending claims against police in the province.

If the state continues to fail in its duty to protect its citizens, we are all in trouble.

These claims in the majority relate to wrongful arrest. The state has already paid R15m this financial year and R74m in the previous one.

These are claims against trained professionals who are there to uphold the law, but in these instances they got it wrong.

But they have the protection of the state as their employers.

The volunteers who patrol the streets and search for and retrieve stolen items do not have the same protection.

If the state continues to fail in its duty to protect its citizens, we are all in trouble.

The state needs to urgently deal with the rate of crime and release community volunteers from the risks they face.

It cannot be that taxpayers contribute so much to the state coffers but they are also expected to risk their lives and livelihoods to do the job of the police. 

DispatchLIVE


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