The South African Police Services (SAPS) in Bethelsdorp are in desperate need of new resources. This police station was established in 1985 and since then there has been massive expansion in the area with thousands of homes being built. Police resources have simply not kept pace with the expansion in population, hence the community frustration.
Yesterday (Wednesday, 5 June, 2013) the Portfolio Committee on Safety and Security met with the provincial management of SAPS. In the meeting I raised the issue of the need for a satellite police station in the Booysenspark area in Bethelsdorp, which was at the focal point of the recent unrest in the Northern Areas of Port Elizabeth.
The provincial commissioner, Lieutenant-General Celiwe Binta, responded by saying that they are in the process of establishing a satellite police station in that area.
It is critical that this satellite is established as a matter of urgency. One of the causes of service delivery protest in the Northern Areas of Port Elizabeth is the high rate of crime. The establishment of a satellite police station in the area will assist in addressing these complaints.
There is a particularly high rate of crime in the Bethelsdorp area. It has the third highest number of reported rapes in the province and the highest number of calls placed to a 10111-centre in the province.
The DA will continue to push for the implementation of the satellite police station which has been a long time in coming. However, we believe that the long-term solution is in the establishment of a fully fledged new police station in the Northern Areas of Port Elizabeth.