Crime-fighting efforts in Chatsworth, KwaZulu-Natal, have received a boost after the Chatsworth Police Station was upgraded, now boasting renovated holding cells, four wings and a new-look community service centre.
The Department of Public Works spent R105 million on improvements to the police station, which now also has a training facilities, camera fitted security and a control centre.
Speaking at the launch of the renovated police station, the then Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa, who has since become Minister of Arts and Culture, said the improvements would help police serve the 250 000 people who live in Chatsworth. “It is now a thoroughly modern police station, well equipped, well-staffed and with good facilities. It is a fine example of our government’s determination to do everything possible to make South Africa a safe and peaceful place.”
The Minister noted that parts of Chatsworth were rife with drug dealing and gangsterism, and special interventions were needed to address this.
“Chatsworth Police Station is at the centre of fighting this scourge and is to be saluted for its initiatives in increasing community awareness of the dangers of drugs working with the local drug action community,” he added.
“Chatsworth Police has a slogan for this fine work. That slogan is: ‘It starts with you and me’. I think that sums it up perfectly. While SAPS can and does arrest drug dealers and gangsters, the rest of us must do our bit.
“I urge the people of Chatsworth not to sit idly by when they see drug dealing and gang activity but to tell the police, so that together we can beat this evil.” With the new and improved resources, police Chats- worth can create a more efficient and professional work force, improve front line service delivery and equip officers to improve service delivery to the community. Chatsworth Police Station Commander Brigadier Soenraad Marias said the new police station had lifted staff morale.
“The detectives’ offices are bigger and they now have more privacy when doing their work.”
The upgrade of the police station started in 2008 and was completed in 2011. Just over 310 officers who work from the station.
“Common crimes reported at the police station include assault, arm robbery, property crime and drug related crimes,” Brigadier Marais said.
Jakes Singh, executive committee member of the Chatsworth Community Policing Forum, said the community was delighted to have a bigger police station.
“We have a very good relationship with the Chats- worth Police Station. We work very well in assisting police to fight crime in our area. The upgrade of this police station shows that the government is serious about fighting crime,” he said.
Minister Mthethwa said there were plans to build a new police in Welbedacht, which as an area situated west of Chatsworth.
“Negotiations are underway to identify a suitable building to use for this station,” he said.