The Democratic Alliance has announced a plan to bring law and order back to our rural communities.
The six point plan looks to completely stamp-out violent crimes committed on our farms. Kouga has also been affected by farm attacks with a particularly gruesome attack taking place in Hankey last year.
“Our rural safety plan aims to guarantee community-based policing in rural areas and will focus on the unique challenges experience by each district.
The model proposed is constitutional, does not require any legislative, regulatory or policy changes. It is designed to act as an effective means to fight rural crime,” said Andrew Whitfield, the DA Shadow Minister of Police.
DA Rural Safety Plan: A boots-on-the-ground approach to keep rural communities safe:
Establish rural policing centres
Police stations that serve a mainly rural area need to create at least one dedicated rural sector as part of its regional policing structure and plan
Deploy more officers to rural areas to limit farm murders
Each rural sector will require boots on the ground to ensure communities feel safer and to deter criminals.
Embolden “community policing”
With SAPS being short-staffed as ever, there simply aren’t enough cops to go around. The proposed solution? Allow rural safety plans to be customised at a local station level, alongside community volunteers.
Introduce the Rural Community Policing Unit (RCPU)
Blurring the lines between neighbourhood watch and SAPS, “RCPU reservists” will work just like SAPS reservists, receive specific rural police training and allow paid volunteers to act as “part-time rural officers”.
Farm murders: Improve the support networks for police and volunteers
Citizen Band (CB) networks, radio rooms, rural policing by drone, a rural radio safety station and additional financial support have been identified as tools to bolster communication between each potential RCPU.
Create new structures within SAPS
A Rural Crime Intelligence Division (RCID) function will help collate, process and share rural safety information and work mostly at a district level.
Meanwhile, a Provincial Rural Safety Directorate (PRSD) will use tip-offs to mitigate threats in rural communities.
“Our plan takes a community-focused, ‘boots-on-the-ground’ approach to rural safety which includes the extensive use of technology in new ways and proposals for greater police visibility to keep rural residents safe,” added Whitfield.