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24 February 2012 at 09:41 - Posted by Anonymous

Residents march to dissolve DBN police station


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Umbilo residents united under the banner of the Umbilo Action group are calling for the urgent intervention of the national police management to “dissolve” the Umbilo police station and place it under interim management pending an investigation of all senior officers.

Vanessa Burger, a spokeswoman for the group, said the community held a public meeting on Monday night and raised concerns about Umbilo officers’ failure to investigate serious crimes, even when comprehensive information was provided.

Burger said that raising their concerns with police spokesman Colonel Jay Naicker, who was an Umbilo resident but was not attached to the local police station, had proved fruitless.

“He (Naicker) has consistently denied allegations raised without bothering to properly investigate them. He has also denied the validity of drug-related allegations,” she said.

Burger added that Umbilo station commander Gerald Mkhize did not help.

She said the group would march on Saturday in Deodar Road, where the Umbilo police station is located.

Barry Bolter, head of a special task team appointed by the Umbilo community policing forum to investigate the complaints, said that the allegations had merit.

“We support the Umbilo Action group all the way,” he said.

The allegations include:

*Failure to investigate allegations of serious criminal and/or corrupt activity by senior officers.

*Promoting a culture of fear in the community by threatening to arrest those who complain.

*Failure to institute due process as recommended by the Independent Complaints Directorate in accordance with complaints about officers’ treatment of victims of sex crimes.

Among those who attended Monday’s meeting was KZN violence monitor Mary de Haas, who said she had discussed the issue in detail with the policing forum and action group.

De Haas said people who had given their time, on a voluntary basis, to assist victims of crime – including by joining the forum – had been victimised.

“They have suffered harassment and threats by certain police officers (all agree that there are also good officers at Umbilo, some of whom appear to have been intimidated).”

She added that victims of rape and sexual abuse, including minors, had been mistreated by Umbilo officers.

Failure

 

According to De Haas, the crux of the matter is the behaviour of some senior officers and the failure of the station’s management to take action to rectify matters.

 

Mkhize said he would not comment “until my time to speak came”.

Approached for further comment, he referred The Mercury to Naicker, who said the police service had not received an official complaint from the action group.

“Based on media reports (about Umbilo), the provincial commissioner, Lieutenant-General Mmamonnye Ngobeni, has dispatched a team from her office that is looking at how service delivery at Umbilo SAPS can be enhanced,” he said.

 

Kwanele Ncalane, of the Community Safety and Liaison Department, said his department would send a team to discuss the matter with the police and the action group.

Meanwhile, flying squad police arrested a man in possession of of crack cocaine in Umbilo on Tuesday.

They arrested another man after searching his vehicle and finding a quantity of rock cocaine powder. - The Mercury

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