As of Saturday 22 January, 2011 all Metro Police personnel based at the Pinetown station were informed that station is closing and they are to report to Queensburgh on Monday 24 January. Ward 18 and Pinetown councillor, Warwick Chapman, was not consulted in the plan whatsoever. Chapman has placed significant fpocus on crime and law enforcement in the greater Pinetown area and the Democratic Alliance believes finds it unacceptable that he was not consulted about the plans.
Cllr Chapman said the plans had been confirmed this morning, “The West Regional Commander, Dir. Kay Naidoo, confirmed on the phone to me this morning that the instruction had come from head of Metro Police, Eugene Nzama. The City Manager, Dr Sutcliffe, said he did not know of the plans but would bring them up at his City Manager’s meeting this afternoon and revert. Anonymous reports from officers suggest that SAB and a Dir. Chin from Durban will be setting up an alcohol and drug testing facility in Pinetown using the premises of the Pinetown Metro Police.”
An officer who wished to remain anonymous asked expressed concern for the delivery of services in the area and the lack of consultation, “It is official, we are all to report to Queensburgh. There are so few members left at Pinetown already that are operationally we struggle. Who is going to help the community now in the area? There was no report to or discussion with anybody in the community.”
Councillor Chapman believes that the complexity of the Pinetown area requires a Metro Police station in the middle of Pinetown to ensure a quick response to emergency situations or law enforcement. For the past year Chapman has been petitioning Metro Police management to deal with the shortage of Captains and improve the productivity of the Pinetown Metro Police station. “What we need is more quality officers, better leadership and more discipline! Pinetown is the covergence point of 7 provincial roads, has a massive concentration of taxis and pedestrians fighting for space with heavy trucks and delivery vehicles constantly flowing through the area’s industrial, commercial and residential zones.”
Instead of moving the Pinetown Police Station further away from where it is most needed, what Pinetown actually needs according to Cllr Chapman is more effect law enforcement. “If you consider the mix of different property zonings in the area, the very large parks such as Crompton and Lahee Parks, the sheer number of illegal businesses, the complex traffic and pedestrian environment and the general problem in the area of crime, what Pinetown actually needs is more Captains and more focus on bylaw and traffic enforcement, and definitely not for the station to be shut down.”
Response times, crucial to traffic management and bylaws enforcements are going to be severly affected if Metro Police officers serving the Pinetown are going to be based from the Queensburgh Metro office. “There is not reasonable justificant for why the station should be closed. Instead of being able to be on the scene within a few minutes, Metro Police are now going to travel for 15 to 20 minutes or more depending on traffic to get to the centre of Pinetown from Queensburgh. The consequences of this drastically increased response time will inevitably be poorer law enforcement and more traffic problems.”
– Warwick Chapman (Cllr Ward 18) | 083 7797 094 | email@example.com | http://warwickchapman.com