The Motherwell Police Station in Port Elizabeth was an award winning precinct provincially in 2006, 2008 and 2011.
Servicing Motherwell comprising of six sectors, this precinct has gradually been overwhelmed by external and internal challenges.
A recent visit by the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) to the Motherwell Police Station highlighted these issues.
Spearheaded by Brigadier K C Meyer, he explained to the visiting NCOP committee about the many challenges faced by his team on a daily basis.
Externally, this law enforcement institution is faced with organised crime, labour instability, service delivery protests and a growing population (±50 000) where 62% remain unemployed.
Lack of human resources at the police station makes servicing this community very challenging.
Internally, a shortage of police vehicles compromises the service that the members of the Motherwell Police Station wish to offer.
As opposed to 54 vehicles available to the precinct in 2009, Motherwell Police Station currently has 48 vehicles granted of which only 38 are available to use.
The 10 vehicles that are out of service are awaiting parts from a contracted supplier who is based in Durban, 900 kilometres away, which can delay a service or repair for up to two weeks or two months respectively.
There is also a serious shortage of staff allocated to this precinct. As opposed to the 301 actual staff members in 2009, the current staff compliment stands at 233.
These challenges have seen the Motherwell police station showing a slight increase in more serious and violent crimes in the Motherwell Cluster for the financial period April to July 2014.
The most concerning of these crimes were Robbery Aggravated, Murder and Attempted Murder. The station managed to show a significant improvement in these categories in August 2014.
Under these challenging circumstances, the Motherwell Police Station has managed to reduce Sexual Offences by 10% and Serious Offences crime by 7%.
Working in partnership with many local organisations and special community programs, the experienced Brigadier K C Meyer and his dedicated team emphasises that a positive attitude will determine their acts.
He remains firm in his belief that he has in his ranks, men and women in blue who serve their country with diligence and perseverance.
According to Democratic Alliance Parliamentarian Elza van Lingen, the DA will be writing to:
• The minister and the provincial commissioner to address the challenges of vehicle shortages, repair tenders, staff shortages, trauma debriefing support and limited office space that the Motherwell Police Station is currently faced with;
• The NMB Metro City Manager Mpilo Mbambisa, stressing that a large number of the crimes in the Motherwell Cluster is liquor related and that the business hours of the 593 taverns in the area are to be reviewed and enforced.
“We will also request flood lights in dark areas such as NU29 and recommend that bushy areas are to be cleared and well lit as well,” said Van Lingen.