NATIONAL NEWS - The planned centres will be manned by members of the community, police officers and reservists.
The establishment of these centres was formalised during a meeting between national police commissioner General Khehla Sitole and other senior police officials with Agri SA, TLU SA and AfriForum on Monday.
It was hoped the centres would “significantly” reduce crime in rural areas while promoting trust between the police and local communities. The meeting agreed that “visible policing” was essential in combating farm attacks.
During the meeting, it was also agreed it was imperative to customise community policing by establishing community-based mounted units. Emphasis was also placed on addressing practical issues such as recruiting and using reservists.
Also discussed were cross-border crimes that affected farming communities and the economics of policing. Sitole reiterated the SAPS’s “unwavering commitment” in prioritising crime in rural communities. He also reiterated the police’s comprehensive rural development policy.
This policy is aimed at combating stock theft and farm attacks. It involves the implementation of a strategy focusing on rural safety and infrastructure.
“Interventions in hotspot areas are critical,” said Sitole.
Emphasis was placed on resourcing police stations at the border, improving intelligence and establishing cross-border liaison communities in farming communities affected by cross-border crime.
“Crime intelligence will determine hotspot areas through its participation in meetings at all levels of policing as well as establishing a rural safety analysis desk,” Sitole said.
The committee will meet quarterly to monitor progress of the rural safety strategy implementation.