Crime Prevention Wardens granted peace officer status

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Justice and Constitutional Development Minister Ronald Lamola has designated Gauteng Crime Prevention Wardens (CPW) as peace officers.

The CPWs were launched earlier this year by the provincial government and are tasked with augmenting crime prevention efforts in Gauteng.

The wardens started reporting for duty in May following their graduation at a pass out parade addressed by Gauteng Premier Panyaza Lesufi in Soshanguve.

The department said the Minister made the determination in terms of section 334 of the Criminal Procedure Act, 1977.

“After conducting a thorough analysis of the applicable legal frameworks, it was determined that for the Gauteng Crime Prevention Wardens to exercise peace officer powers, they must assume the same legal status as Gauteng Provincial traffic officers. Provincial traffic officers currently carry out their duties within the ambit of their peace officer designation, supported by the necessary legal framework.

“The government is determined to take every possible measure to prevent crime and safeguard the well-being of our neighbourhoods. Minister Lamola having engaged both the Minister of Police [General Bheki Cele] and the Premier of Gauteng Province thanked all the stakeholders involved for their collaborative and constructive efforts,” the statement read.

Premier Lesufi welcomed the decision.

“This announcement finally clarifies the uncertainty over the status of the Crime Prevention Wardens. [It] affirms what we have said all along, that the CPWs are a legal, well-equipped provincial law enforcement body that collaborates with other law enforcement organisations in the province.

“They operate under the supervision of the other law enforcement agencies, i.e Gauteng Traffic and local authorities,” he said.