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Rethinking how we Respond to Vagrants
Published 14th July 2022

We are currently living in the aftermath of COVID 19, which means the effects of job loss and unemployment are still increasingly high. As South Africans, we already have some of the worst unemployment statistics. Therefore, we must recognise that vagrants and homelessness are a national epidemic. For some this sight brings a deep sense of empathy, and for others frustration.

It is important to state that being a vagrant is not a crime. Therefore, without criminal intent or action, the police do not have the authority to move or charge vagrants with criminality. The increasing presence of vagrants is problematic and causes no end of complaints to SAPS and security companies. However, on most occasions there is not much that can be legally done. SAPS and security companies are not able to forcefully remove people but can ask them to move on, but without proper shelters available this just means they settle further up the road and bother the next set of residents.

Everyone has the right to freedom of movement. Durning these colder months, vagrants tend to move around and seek warmer living conditions. The rights of all people in our country affirm the democratic values of human dignity, equality, and freedom.

At Broubart, we are concerned about your safety and provide services which address these concerns. We are proud of the results we gain through the proactive patrols and the integration of AI cameras and solutions within suburbs of East London and PE.  

The AI solutions are ideal to monitor possible crime in the area as the cameras monitor movement and should they pick up criminal intent, the patrol cars and SAPS will be notified immediately.

We strongly recommend that all residents continue calling SAPS to report vagrants in the area to keep the challenge topical, and attend the next CPF meeting so we can engage with the authorities in a meaningful manner to find a solution to this ongoing challenge.

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