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Police to 'name and shame' drug dealers

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Police to 'name and shame' drug dealers

by Unity Klazen
16 May 2007
Peoples Post
Peoples Post

In a bid to crackdown on drug peddling in the streets of Hanover Park, the Philippi Police Station plans to adopt the "name and shame" campaign, which was recently launched in Mitchell's Plain.

The campaign, dubbed by the media as the "name and shame", saw police officers distributing pamphlets to residents. The pamphlets contained the addresses and names of convicted drug dealers in the area.

Inspector Etienne Conradie, media spokesperson for the Philippi Police Station, says the project is a combined effort by the South African Police Services (SAPS), Metro Police and the CPF. "We want to start this as soon as possible. The community will have an idea of who the high flyers and drug dealers are. Our goal is to get the community involved in marches and going to war on drugs," he says.

The community will have an idea of who the high flyers and drug dealers are.

Conradie adds that once parents know where the drug hang outs are, they will be able to prevent their children from frequenting these places.

"We want to get the merchants out, we want to take away their market. This will decrease the crime in our area. We want to be hands- on with drugs," Conradie told People's Post.

He also hopes that once the campaign has started, people will come forward with ideas as to how they can improve on it.

Commenting on Philippi's Police's decision to mirror the initiative, Mogammat Kieraan, chairperson of the local Community Police Forum (CPF) says the campaign will be a good starting point for the police. "This could work if we get community participation. I am in favour of this move. This is a real plus for the police," says Kieraan.

We want to get the merchants out, we want to take away their market...

He also says that he hopes that police will be able to cover their bases without people's rights being violated. "Most of the people live in council-owned houses. The onus lies with the city, they should first get permission from them as to whether or not pictures of the targeted houses can be taken," he says.

Trevor Pedro, spokesperson for the Hanover Park Civic Association supports the police's decision. "It will be of benefit for the community. These criminals are a risk to our community. With effort and follow through, this can work," says Pedro.

A Hanover Park resident, who prefers to remain anonymous, says the proposal could ensure the removal of the unwanted elements. "With our current justice system, we are not able to keep these criminals behind bars. Within 24 hours they are afforded lawyers and the next day they are walking our streets again. I think a stronger legislation should be passed on known criminals and known offenders, so that they are kept out of our communities. Perhaps this is a step in that direction," says the resident.

Director Anand Pillay, Station Commissioner at Philippi Police Station says, the campaign could also unite the community and the police. "I think we should start on first building a relationship between the police and the community. There is a lot of distrust. If we show them that we are doing something, and they see action, they will trust us again. I think we should try the "name and shame" campaign to see what comes out of it," says Pillay.

In a report by a daily newspaper, Mitchell's Plain Police Station Commissioner, Jeremy Veary, is quoted as saying that the campaign was launched by the community and later supported by police, focusing on ridding the area of drugs "street by street".

Media reports also stated that self-confessed drug dealer, Shahied "Oog" Valesco, vowed to stop dealing after the community took to the streets in an anti-drug march, which came as a result of the campaign.

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