Law enforcement gets serious about rural safety

Last Friday saw the launch in Louis Trichardt of a revised Rural Safety Strategy programme designed to address crime in farming areas.

The South African Police Service’s (SAPS) initiative will see the establishment of rapid response teams to respond to rural crime incidents of a violent or organised nature.

Tommie Esterhuyse, chair of Agri SA’s Centre of Excellence: Rural Safety, said the urgent implementation of the strategy by all stations commanders was necessary.

“We believe that rapid response teams are the only workable strategy with a focus on combatting farm attacks, stock theft and theft of farm infrastructure,” said Esterhuyse

Agri-related crimes have led to significant instability in the agricultural market, and Esterhuyse has urged SAPS to work hand-in-hand with locals in the community to try to alleviate the problem.

“We call on the police to actively promote the reservist system and make it possible for farming and rural communities to participate and play a role in securing their environment. The police must commit themselves to making the necessary resources available to the reservists and the strategy,” he said.

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