Community tells police what to do

2015-09-08 06:00
The panel consisted of various representitives from local government, police and community saftey structures. 

PHOTO: 
Lance Goliath

The panel consisted of various representitives from local government, police and community saftey structures. PHOTO: Lance Goliath

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The community raised its concerns with local authorities at a policing needs and priorities meeting held in Mitchell’s Plain last week.

On Friday and Saturday more than 150 representatives of several community organisations gave suggestions on what the police need in the next calendar year.

Police management from all eight stations in the Mitchell’s Plain police cluster, provincial minister for community safety Dan Plato, police ombudsman Adv Vusi Pikoli, director of policing Robbie Robberts, Cluster Community Police Forum (CPF) chairperson Hanif Loonat and the CPF chairpersons of the eight police stations of the Mitchell’s Plain cluster, as well as members of the neighbourhood watches, were present.

“Every entity presented their roles, contribution and shortfalls in terms of their respective mandates,” says acting cluster spokesperson Lieutenant Lance Goliath.

“Thereafter, the entities engaged in group discussions on the way forward to enhance better service delivery and alleviate crime.”

In his address at the meeting, Robberts mentioned the importance of integrated crime prevention operations and offered his full support as head of operations of the metro police, law enforcement and traffic.

Plato encouraged the community safety forums to be proactive and to tap into the funds available to the CPFs.

This was the seventh annual meeting held in all clusters in the Western Cape. The data collected is presented to provincial police management.

Last year, several issues, including poor response times, understaffing and communication at police stations, were highlighted.

Mitchell’s Plain CPF chairperson Abie Isaacs says similar issues were raised this year.

“There were issues from all stations raised. One problem that I can note is that the allocation of funds should be regulated according to the station size,” Isaacs says.

Lentegeur CPF chairperson Mark Brookes agrees. He says training and budget allocation are worth looking into, especially in the case of other organisations.

“Some organisations run up R70 000 in projects, but we are only allocated R2800 per month,” Brookes says.

Strandfontein CPF chairperson Sandy Schuter says she raised the same issue.

Plato’s response was that money was available and necessary measures needed to be followed.

Isaacs adds that his CPF does make use of the funds allocated to it and appreciates the effort to have its issues heard.

According to Goliath, a plan was finalised by the stakeholders at the meeting and a document was compiled, listing the issues and recommendations to be discussed on station CPF level. Once amendments and comments are received, this document will be adopted on cluster level and then presented to provincial and national police management.

Brigadier Cass Goolam, representing cluster commander Major-general Abraham Goss, welcomed the initiative.

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