Lawley residents question role of police in area as station without power, vans

The Lawley Community Centre has been without electricity for almost three years following a cable theft incident.

The Lawley Community Service Station has been without power for more than two years. Picture: Boikhutso Ntsoko/Eyewitness News

JOHANNESBURG - Residents of the Lawley Station informal settlement said that they were fed up with being turned away from their local police station when they went report crimes due to a lack of resources.

The Lawley Community Centre has been without electricity for almost three years following a cable theft incident.

The facility was initially built to combat crimes on the railway lines in the area but after the last train operated there in 2019, cops were left to do their jobs without electricity and police vehicles.

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Lawley Station informal settlement is only five kilometers away from one of South Africa's top 13 murder and kidnapping hotspots yet residents don't have access to a proper police station.

Residents are forced to travel to Lenasia to report serious crimes even though officers are stationed at right in their community.

But cops in the area simply don't have the resources needed and are forced to share their personal rechargeable lamps and candles to do their work. The lack of electricity also means that they have no telephone lines and no means to communicate with other police stations.

Community leader William Rampheri said that as a result, the area was unsafe.

"It's not safe because we are sent to the Lenasia Police Station to report our crimes, even at night. If I do not have money to take a taxi, I will have to walk. That is no way to live," Rampheri said.

He questioned the role of the police officers stationed here.

"This station was initially built to fight crime on the railway line but there is no train operating anymore so what exactly are they doing?" Rampheri asked.

Eyewitness News approached the police for comment but has not received any response.

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