Provincial SAPS says it cannot reveal the number of police vehicles in Port Alfred that are used to patrol and respond to crime as it is “not the policy of the SAPS to divulge operational information”.
Talk of the Town sent queries to police spokesperson Captain Mali Govender and then the provincial SAPS media office and received a response last week.
TotT had been receiving complaints from members of the public who were told different stories why police vehicles could not respond to crime incidents. A few weeks ago, a resident said he had gone to the Port Alfred police station at night to find out why no one had responded to a crime incident and was informed by officers in the charge office that none of the police on duty in the charge office had a licence to drive.
More recently, since the number of vehicles parked outside the front of the station was noticed, and a resident asked a similar question about police response, they were informed that of the vehicles parked outside the station, most were for clerical staff use, not patrolling or response.
TotT has counted an average ten marked police vehicles parked outside the station at night.
We asked SAPS how many police vehicles the Port Alfred station has, how many are used to respond to crime on a daily basis and who can drive them.
In response, Colonel Sibongile Soci said: “SAPS vehicles are utilised on a 24-hour basis and will from time to time be taken to the garages for mechanical failure and/or service. It is however not the policy of the SAPS to divulge operational information, therefore we are unable to discuss the numbers.
“The station records indicate that the station has never failed to attend to crime scenes or calls for assistance. There is always a vehicle despatched to attend to crime incidents reported and all SAPS assets are utilised to ensure that the service delivery needs are taken care of, be it a vehicle allocated to the detectives or a vehicle borrowed from a neighbouring station,” Soci said.
“At all times, SAPS encourage community members to voice their dissatisfactions/ complaints to the station commander, cluster commander, and even the provincial commissioner.”