Lieutenant General Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi, Commissioner of the KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Police, has spoken out against police officers going grocery shopping in full uniform, saying that such behaviour is not tolerated in his ranks and urging the people to take pictures of the offenders and report them.
The statements, made during a recent meeting with Community Policing Forum (CPF) groups, attracted murmurs and laughter from those present.
Mkhwanazi, who has a reputation in KZN police circles for his no-nonsense attitude to policing, told the gathering of residents and police personnel that the behaviour of the men and women in blue was important.
“A typical behaviour is that policemen are not supposed to go shopping in uniform, including these generals. If you find them at Woolies, you find them at Shoprite, if you find them at Pick’n Pay dressed in uniform, take a picture of that person and report to it us,” he said.
Another example of where he wanted CPFs and the citizens to actively be on the watch for, was marked police vehicles that were out of their policing precinct.
“(If there is) a police vehicle, if it is marked in the name of a police station and it is an area that is not in that policing area, take a picture of that vehicle and send it to us. Because we deliberately buy these cars and give it to a police station. If there is a Durban Central Police Station vehicle, it means it is confined to work in Durban Central, but if it leaves, there must be an authority,” Mkhwanazi said.
He added: “We must be able to have answers (as to why that vehicle is out of the area) and say, ‘no, no, this vehicle is authorised to leave the policing precinct because he is doing his job’”.