Murder, domestic violence and concealment of birth are the escalating crimes around Thokoza. In an attempt to make the community aware of those crimes and to educate them on how to prevent them; Thokoza SAPS partnered with   other departments in hosting a crime awareness imbizo at Umkhathizwe sports grounds last week Saturday.

Thokoza SAPS partnered with EMPD, Department of Community Safety, Boksburg Correctional Services, Department of Health, Gauteng Liquor Board, SASSA and Memeza Community Safety in embarking on the crime awareness imbizo. The aim was to educate the community on how to prevent crime and encouraging them to join CPF structures so that they will assist the police in fighting crime. The community members had an opportunity to ask questions related to crime and services rendered by other departments present.

Colonel Sevha Reckson Shiburi, station commander of Thokoza SAPS said murder is a challenge especially at the hostels and in Empilisweni squatter camp. “We are informing the community about crime statistics around Thokoza. We have given them police sector vehicle numbers to make it easy for them to report crime. We are also increasing police visibility in all the areas around Thokoza and shutting down illegal shebeens as most of the crimes happens in shebeens.”

Commenting on a question raised by the residents regarding corrupt police officers who are taking bribes from the criminals, he said, “We encourage the community to report corrupt police officers and they will be dealt with accordingly. A case will be opened against an individual police officer who is corrupt and investigations will be done. We will also make a follow up with department of justice at Palm Ridge court regarding these allegations against our police officers working at the court,” concluded Shiburi.

Mtshengiseni Mbatha, chief at Mshayafaze hostel block L said murder is a challenge at the hostels and people are killed on daily basis. “It is very painful in that every day we hear gun sounds and people are murdered.  We don’t know the reasons behind the murders happening at the hostels, however most crimes happen at the illegal shebeens operating inside the hostel. Prostitution is also a challenge at Khuthuza hostel (2) block H, we are pleading with the law enforcement to intervene and arrest the perpetrators.”

Thami Molefe, Community Liaison Officer of Memeza Community Safety organisation also encouraged community members to work with the police in fighting crime. He also urged them to bring back community structures such as CPF, patrollers and street committees to help combat crime.