Belhar – POCA a powerful tool against gangsters, drugs and criminals
Statement by Dan Plato, Western Cape Minister of Community Safety
Today I expanded my community safety outreaches to focus on the most powerful tool communities should never forget in our combined effort to root out crime, corruption, gangsterism and drugs – the law.
The Prevention of Organised Crime Act (POCA) empowers communities to assist police in getting the gangsters off our streets, put druglords behind bars and break down the daily stronghold criminals have over communities.
For too long our communities have complained about the ‘known gangsters’ and the ‘alleged druglords’ who intimidate everyone, operate as if they are above the law and perpetuate the cycle of drugs, guns and gangs that wreak havoc in our communities.
The Prevention of Organised Crime Act (POCA) takes a combative stance against organised crime, money laundering, criminal gang activities and racketeering. Not only does it criminalise activities associated with gangs it also criminalises the failure of members of the public to meet their obligation to report certain information.
We aim to take a firm stand, backed by legislation, to help realise safer communities. We are combining our efforts today in Belhar - as the Department of Community Safety, the South African Police Service SAPS, Education, Social Development, safety partners in the Community Policing Forum (CPF), Neighbourhood Watch (NHW) and religious and community leaders.
During the months of March and April 2016, we will be taking the same campaign to different communities in and around Cape Town who have to face the scourge of gangs, guns and drugs on a daily basis. These visits will include Manenberg, Hanover Park, Ocean View, Mitchell’s Plain and Bonteheuwel amongst others.
We want each community member to have confidence that when information is reported to the police, it will be investigated and action will be taken.
I will continue to provide SAPS with all the names, allegations of illegal activity and information on unlawful conduct I receive from community members.
Through our oversight mandate over policing in the province, we will do our very best to ensure that action follows.
I thank the Provincial Commissioner and his dedicated SAPS officials for their hard work as we clean up our communities – one street at a time.
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