Gauteng’s new Crime Prevention Wardens (CPWs) are expected to report for duty on Monday following their graduation at a pass out parade at Giant Stadium in Soshanguve on Sunday.
The 3000 wardens will be deployed to crime hotspots across the province and work with communities, community patrollers, schools, and law enforcement agencies (LEA) to eliminate elements of crime, including lawlessness, vandalism, and corruption across the communities.
Gauteng Premier Panyaza Lesufi said the wardens will use e-Policing solutions such as drones, CCTVs, helicopters, e-panic buttons, helicopters and high patrol vehicles to ensure the timeous response to crime incidents, including car hijackings, robberies, murder and gender-based violence (GBV), among others.
The Crime Prevention Wardens are recognised as Peace Officers in accordance with Section 334 of the Criminal Procedure Act (Act No.51 of 1977) and their powers extend to arresting without a warrant, obtaining a name and address, execution of warrants and may appear in court as witnesses.
“The wardens will be the ears and eyes of communities in every ward. Gauteng has 361 wards in the Township Informal Settlements (TISH) areas and later expanded across Gauteng.
“The Department of Community Safety has spent R450 million on CPWs. Locally manufactured vehicles will be procured to fight crime and enable the wardens to patrol communities," Lesufi said.
The Premier said they had had a huge number of applications for the programme.
“With the help of the many agencies, such as the Independent Electoral Commission, the province was able to confirm if the trainees were indeed South African and Gauteng residents and verify their criminal records,” Lesufi said.
He said there would not be a single township, hostel, or ward that will be left uncovered.
“We are prioritising the top police stations with a high crime rate where the wardens will be deployed. The force will have two shifts, 6am to 6pm and 6pm to 6am,” Lesufi said.
The Premier warned the wardens not to take bribes. “There’s no need for cold drinks, I’m paying you enough to buy your own cold drinks,” Lesufi said at the pass out parade.
When he took office in October 2022, Lesufi committed to fighting crime, vandalism and lawlessness.
The public can reach the warden programme on the Premier's hotline at 0800 228827. – SAnews.gov.za