THE DA in the Eastern Cape has called for a new police division to help fight crime and stock theft in rural areas.

DA spokeswoman for rural development and agrarian reform Veliswa Mvenya said a new border and rural safety division within the police force was needed urgently.

This was something the DA planned to discuss with Eastern Cape police commissioner LieutenantGeneral Celiwe Binta.

“Given that much of the crime is generated through cross-border movements from Lesotho, the only way to make a crackdown on this would be to have a dedicated border unit to patrol hotspot areas by land and air,” she said.

Provincial police spokesman Major Ernest Sigobe said the police did have a national rural safety strategy.

“This has also been extended to embrace all communities living in rural areas,” said Sigobe. “We are implementing a new stock theft prevention strategy of which the pilot project is currently rolled out in the Tsolo area.”

The DA call came just days after Mount Fletcher farmers recovered more than 800 sheep and cattle that were lost through theft in the area that borders Lesotho.

The farmers formed a committee to help combat stock theft along the border between South Africa and Lesotho.

Drakensburg police cluster spokeswoman Warrant Officer Nozuko Handile said the farmers did not register their case with the police and instead opted for compensation. — bonganif@dispatch.co.za

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