Police station re-shuffle

2015-04-30 16:30

Five police stations have been added to the Mitchell’s Plain police cluster under the leadership of cluster commander Major-General Abraham Goss.

As of 1 April, Grassy Park, Steenberg, Lansdowne, Athlone and Philippi police stations have joined Mitchell’s Plain, Lentegeur and Strandfontein police stations to complete the new eight-station cluster.

Changes have affected all police clusters in the Western Cape.

This is, however, an interim decision and further changes can be made before the clusters are officially approved.

A date for this has not been discussed.

Goss says he has his concerns about the bigger clusters.

“My main concern is the reaction time. As police we are required to respond to complaints within a certain period of time. Yes, the officers at the respective stations can do that but for me, being based in Mitchell’s Plain, it will be difficult to get to the scene quickly,” he says.

As the cluster commander, Goss attends to high-profile cases along with the local police.

Several meetings have been held with the station commanders and Goss says they are optimistic about the changes.

With the bigger cluster, certain aspects will be improved.

“This does not mean we will have more resources,” Goss says. “But we will get more personnel. We are waiting for this to be finalised because nothing can be done before this is approved,” he says.

These officers will be transferred from Nyanga to the Lentegeur base to perform “cluster duties” as they are connected to the stations that have been moved.

The Tactical Response Team (TRT) may also get an added bump as TRT officers linked to the five stations that have moved may be transferred to the current 40-man squad.

Yvonne Adams, acting chairperson of the Lansdowne Community Police Forum (CPF), recently expressed concern that they would be overlooked in the cluster.

“Mitchell’s Plain is very big. I am concerned that we will be neglected,” she told People’s Post.

Goss responds that it would be “brutally unfair of me to do that”.

“My focus will remain the same and I will ensure that all stations get equal attention. The cluster is bigger and it will be challenging, but we can get over it if we work together.

“All the stations need to cooperate. We will work with them and prioritise crimes accordingly,” he says.

Philippi CPF chairperson Ebrahim Abrahams says he is optimistic about the changes but does have concerns.

“Mitchell’s Plain and Hanover Park both have shortcomings. I don’t think it is a good idea to put all the stations with shortcomings together,” he says.

“There are also many unsolved problems that I cannot see headway unless there are solutions.

“Only then can we move forward.”

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