Gauteng Premier Panyaza Lesufi has announced the successful pass-out of the Crime Prevention Wardens, a dedicated force aimed at combating crime, lawlessness, and vandalism in the province. This initiative is part of the government’s commitment to prioritize public safety and address the issue of youth unemployment simultaneously. With rigorous training and the use of advanced e-policing solutions, these wardens are set to enhance law enforcement efforts and increase police visibility across Gauteng. The premier also highlighted upcoming technological advancements to further improve community safety.
Recruitment and Training Process:
After receiving an overwhelming response of 21,000 applications from across the five regions, a meticulous selection process shortlisted 10,650 candidates for further evaluation. Eventually, 6,000 dynamic and physically adept individuals were chosen to undergo intensive training over the past three months. The culmination of this training marks the deployment of the first cohort of 3,200 wardens to various hotspot areas in Gauteng, starting from May 1, 2023. The remaining cohort is expected to complete their training by the end of May.
Utilizing E-policing Solutions:
Equipped with the latest e-policing solutions, including drones and helicopters, the Crime Prevention Wardens will collaborate with existing law enforcement officials to eliminate criminal elements in Gauteng communities. Their deployment in targeted hotspot areas aims to deter and detect criminal activities, effectively reducing serious crimes. Initially focusing on 361 wards in the Township Informal Settlements (TISH) areas, their presence will subsequently expand across Gauteng.
Enhancing Police Visibility and Community Partnerships:
The wardens’ primary responsibility lies in ensuring police visibility at the ward level. Working closely with Community Patrollers, they will educate the public about ward-based policing and forge partnerships with schools to address criminal activities both inside and outside the premises. In addition, the wardens will actively combat lawlessness, including illegal land occupation and damage to state infrastructure, in collaboration with the Gauteng Department of Infrastructure Development and Human Settlements.
Premier Lesufi emphasized the importance of a multi-sectoral approach in the fight against crime. The government, police, private sector, and community members must join forces to create safe and secure communities. Community members are urged to report any criminal activities, enabling collective action against crime. This pass-out event serves as a testament to the government’s commitment to action and delivering on its promises.
Premier Lesufi also revealed plans for next month’s implementation of hi-tech face and car recognition CCTV systems, connecting suburbs, townships, businesses, schools, and public places. Residents will have access to panic buttons linked to law enforcement agencies, allowing for swift response during threatening situations. These panic buttons will be integrated with the state-of-the-art command center, reinforcing the government’s dedication to utilizing advanced technology for public safety.
The launch of the Crime Prevention Wardens initiative signifies the Gauteng government’s proactive approach in tackling crime and ensuring the safety of its residents. With a strong emphasis on collaboration, community engagement, and technological advancements, Gauteng is paving the way for a safer future. As the government continues to prioritize action over mere words, the commitment to creating secure communities remains at the forefront of their agenda.