NATIONAL police commissioner Riah Phiyega delivered a stern warning to criminals when she handed over 32 vehicles for the purpose of crime prevention in the Eastern Cape yesterday.
The handing-over ceremony took place at Motherwell police station in Port Elizabeth and was witnessed by top police brass and community members.
The vehicles come as a huge relief to struggling stations which have often been crippled by a shortage of vehicles to attend to crime scenes.
Phiyega said the hand-over was in the spirit of the Batho Pele principle (putting others first) – responding to the need of the community to make their area safe.
She said the vehicles would enhance visible policing in the community.
“This is a great day for the community of Motherwell. We hope the vehicles will be of service and fulfil your lives.
“You deserve a peaceful festive season.
“Ours is to protect the community and eradicate crime.
“When I return, I expect to hear positive stories,” Phiyega said.
The new vehicles will be distributed among the K9 unit, flying squad, vehicle theft unit and family violence, child protection and sexual offences unit.
Phiyega said that two months ago she handed over 17 vehicles to various other stations in the province.
“We are keen, inspired and ready to go. We heard what the community are saying and we have responded. If you notice us abusing these vehicles or driving recklessly, let us know.”
In a strongly worded message to criminals terrorising the community, she said: “Criminals are in the minority. Let us join hands and turn the scourge of crime. I believe we can defeat this minority.
“The festive season is dedicated to peace but they use the busy season to steal from us. We must never allow them – let us work together,” Phiyega said.
Earlier, provincial commissioner Celiwe Binta told the crowd that each time Phiyega visited the province she left something behind.
“You have a soft spot for the province. Whatever the commissioner is giving, is going to help us in combating crime this festive season. This is a very important gift to the community,” she said. – Hendrick Mphande