KwaZulu-Natal Premier, Nomusa Dube-Ncube, has sent a stern warning to criminals that law enforcement agencies in the province are tightening the grip on all forms of crime, mainly contact and violent crimes during this festive season.
The Premier made the remarks during the official launch of the KwaZulu-Natal Integrated Safety Month and Festive Season Campaign held at Peoples Park in Durban on Friday.
Joined by Police Minister Bheki Cele, Transport, Community Safety and Liaison MEC, Sipho Hlomuka, eThekwini Municipality Mayor, Mxolisi Kaunda, and Provincial Police Commissioner, Lieutenant-General Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi, the Premier unveiled a campaign aimed at heightening the war against crime during the festive season and beyond.
She said police in the province are ready to take the war to the criminals, emphasising that the vision of government is to ensure that the people of KwaZulu-Natal live in a safe and secure environment.
“Women, children and vulnerable groups should feel protected and have confidence in the criminal justice system to effectively apprehend and prosecute criminals. We are launching this festive season campaign at a time when our country is focused on the 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children.
“There is a lot of work that the provincial government is doing to mobilise society to root out this scourge. There will be heightened visibility in all corners of our province including integrated crime prevention and crime combatting operations on provincial and national roads, rail environment, ports of entry and the border-line.”
The Premier assured the people of the province, including visitors and business that all law enforcement agencies working with stakeholders are on board to ensure a safe, peaceful, and incident-free festive season.
In addition, special intelligence-driven operations will be implemented in cooperation with all law enforcement agencies.
“We are encouraged to see the state of preparedness and unity of our law enforcement agencies and stakeholders. Police made numerous arrests this morning, on the streets of the Durban central business district conducting law enforcement operations and raids in various buildings that have deteriorated into drug dens and crime havens.
“We are here to unveil our plan which involves all sectors including civil society, business, the taxi industry, community policing forums, and many more joining hands to arrest crime during the festive season. We are ready to thwart all the criminal networks, we will be at their rear and flanks,” Dube-Ncube said.
Technology to enhance policing
During this period, the police will also be applying technology, including drones to monitor high crime zones and capturing footage of criminal activities.
“Technology will be employed to chase criminals using facial recognition and follow me flight mode. We can even enter into small unreachable areas to track criminals in hideouts.
“We will also be applying technology to track number plates and spot stolen vehicles. Our Smart Province concept also include smart policing. Technology overall can reduce the crime rate, improve investigation and assist in locking up offenders. It can also be used as early warning signal to prevent the deaths in disasters and properly loss.”
Meanwhile, Dube-Ncube has expressed concern over the increase of road accidents that continue to claim lives.
She called on the road freight industry to attend to the issue of errant truck drivers whose negligent driving has taken many lives in the province recently.
“We remember vividly the Pongola horrific accident [and] the multiple truck accidents a few weeks ago [that] claimed more lives. Our roads cannot be turned into mass graves and places of untimely deaths.
“The Road Traffic Inspectorate has a huge responsibility to make every road user feel that when in KwaZulu-Natal you drive responsibly or face the music. We are exploring ideas around the spate of track accidents.
“This may include enforcing a curfew on freight trucks and redirecting vehicles to less busy roads. We are continuing engagements with the freight and logistics industry,” Dube-Ncube said.
The province’s safety month and festive season plan involves government and law enforcement agencies working with various stakeholders, including business, community policing forums, traditional leaders, interfaith leaders and the taxi industry.
The plan is anchored on the following actions and objectives of building safer communities:
• Strengthening the criminal justice system;
• Making the police service professional; and
• Building community participation.