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Senior Johannesburg cop suspended in drug-riddled neighbourhood

Close up of the SAPS badge on an officer's uniform.
Close up of the SAPS badge on an officer's uniform.

The Johannesburg Metropolitan Police Department (JMPD) has suspended a senior officer responsible for beefing up policing in one of the city's most troubled neighbourhoods.

The deputy director responsible for Kensington was suspended after complaints that a satellite police station had descended into chaos – barely six months after it was launched to address the community's ills.

"The allegations against the Regional Commander come after community members complained that the JMPD Kenilworth Satellite Station was not operating as intended in that operating hours were reduced and not properly staffed‚" the office of MMC of public safety Michael Sun said on Wednesday.

Sun himself added: "When we embarked on the Kenilworth Satellite Station project‚ we wanted JMPD to serve the residents in the area on a 24/7 basis so crime will be reduced‚ by-laws enforced and the drug dealing be a thing of the past‚ however we now receive a number of complaints regarding the poor service at the satellite station. We will ensure that officials are held to account and deliver the services as we have promised to the people."

An investigation is under way as the disciplinary process continues.

Communities in Kenilworth and nearby Turffontein and Rosettenville have been troubled by the scourge of drugs‚ human trafficking and other gang-related ills. In August last year‚ the city launched a satellite station in Kenilworth to address these problems.

The satellite station was donated by the Southern Business Community Forum and Mario Stephanou. It was meant to serve as a haven for victims of human trafficking as well as an operational office for JMPD officers‚ and an administrative point for residents to get their documents certified. It was also intended to house local policing forums.

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