The DA believes that the provincial Department of Safety and Liaison and the SAPS should launch an exciting recruitment campaign to boost the number of police reservists in the Eastern Cape. According to a reply to a legislature question I asked the MEC, Weziwe Tikana, there are only 2 031 police reservists in the province.
This is far too few in a province where crime is far too high. High visibility police patrols are said to cut crime by up to 40%. According to the latest Stats SA Victims of Crime survey for 2014/15, more than four in 10 households in the Eastern Cape reported that they have never seen a police officer in duty at all in their area of residence. At 43 %, this was the highest provincial figure in South Africa.
This clearly illustrates it cannot be business as usual. We need new and innovative strategies to make the province a better place to live in, so that we can retain our people, attract investors and create jobs.
There are thousands of patriotic and loyal citizens in our province who are dedicated to serving their communities and making a difference. They should be allowed the opportunity to volunteer to become police reservists after undergoing the necessary training.
Communities are living in fear of the criminal element and by putting more boots on the ground, we will help to build safer and secure communities.
The SAPS must also ensure conditions for police reservists are conducive to their recruitment and active deployment. All police reservists that have not been given the opportunity to undergo firearm proficiency tests must be given this chance at the earliest convenience. This will mean they can be out there in the streets safeguarding our communities.
The DA will be pursuing this matter as part of its drive to improve the climate of safety and security in our province. If we all pull together we can win the war against crime and realise the freedom we all aspire to.
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