Nelson Mandela Bay’s metro police force will not be deterred by criminals in its efforts to combat crime in the city.
This was the message from metro police chief Yolanda Faro at the opening of the municipality’s second precinct office, in Uitenhage’s KwaNobuhle, yesterday.
Faro said the attempted attack on metro police officers at the Bethelsdorp precinct station – less than 48 hours after its opening – made the service even more determined to show its presence in the community.
The municipality plans to open seven more precinct offices in the Bay.
Officially opening the KwaNobuhle office in Hoyana Street, mayor Athol Trollip was accompanied by political safety and security head John Best, several Uitenhage councillors and the South African Police Service top brass in Uitenhage.
Faro quoted Nelson Mandela to encourage the metro police officers in the light of Bethelsdorp incident, saying: “It always looks impossible until it is done.
“It is not where you start, but how high you aimed for success.”
Of the Bethelsdorp incident, she said: “I have spoken with all my staff [since] the incident.
“We are more determined because we want to be in the communities where crime is taking place.
“It even tells me we have chosen the correct location because it is in the crime-ridden areas.”
Best said: “The incident was a bit of scare at Bethelsdorp, where gangsters thought they would come in and try to take our firearms, but [the metro cops’] vigilance and training . . . put them in a position to go out and confront these guys even before they entered the premises.”
He said 40 officers would be deployed in KwaNobuhle and more would be recruited before the next precinct office was opened.
Trollip said opening the KwaNobuhle precinct was to make the people of Uitenhage and Despatch feel that they were part of the city.
“We are going to be one city with one future,” he said.
“I appreciate the presence of all councillors here from all the different political parties.
“It reinforces the fact that we can only be successful in combating crime if we hold each other’s hands.”
Uitenhage SAPS cluster commander General Johan Fourie welcomed the new precinct and said his officers would work together to fight crime.
He said they would team up with metro police in Operation Fiela, which starts today.