MEDIA STATEMENT ON COMMUNITY PROTEST WESTBURY:
The Gauteng Provincial Community Police Board hereby take this opportunity to extend its support for
community and law enforcement dialogue and peaceful protest to problem solve the issues of crime
and service delivery that effect our communities.
We are confident that dialogue and non violent
expression of the right to peaceful protest will serve to highlight the needs and amplify the voices of
the community of Westbury.
While we know and respect that members of the community have the right to take part in peaceful
protest actions as stipulated in the Constitution, Law enforcement authorities cannot sit back and
watch criminal elements in the communities take over the protest to create lawlessness and anarchy.
The area is still tense and members of
the Public Order Policing Unit have maintained visibility and
will continue to patrol and monitor the area to prevent further lawlessness.
We call for calm in the effected community of Westbury and call upon community leaders to act
responsibly and within the framework of the law , to further the important dialogue and problem
solving process around the issues that plague this community. We appeal for calm and echo the call
for peaceful and non-violent protest in the area.
It has long been recognized that crime and disorder are generated largely through a complex interplay
between social, economic and psychological factors which in turn inform the phenomenon of violent
public protests and we make a call to citizens to channel their outrage into positive mechanisms to
educate and effect positive change in their communities. We cannot continue to tolerate the unlawful
destruction of public property, the disruption of services and the ‘hijacking' of legitimate voices of
lawful protest by criminal elements for their own gain, as a standard means to highlight the issues and
complexities of our communities.
The Gauteng Provincial Police Board continue to work closely with Law enforcement and with all
community stakeholders in the community of Westbury to ensure that we improve the safety of the
community members in this community.
We urge NGOs , religious groups , community leaders and active citizens in this community to work
with their Community Policing Forum in order to form a concerted grassroots plan of action to tackle
the issues of issues of crime and safety in this community. Communities and individuals are
encouraged to continue exercising great diligence in their personal safety and to report any suspicious
activities or criminal acts to the relevant authorities.