CPF project aims attitude change

2016-02-02 06:00

Mitchell’s Plain was declared the murder capital of the Western Cape based on the most recently distributed crime statistics.

But the launch of a project by the Mitchell’s Plain community police forum (CPF) in December has heralded a new approach to tackling organised crime.

The CPF says the launch of its joint venture with police has had a positive impact on the fight against crime, and gangsterism in particular.

The “organised crime threat analysis” project (OCTA) forms part of the Prevention of Organised Crime Act (Poca).

Since its launch in December, CPF chairperson Abie Isaacs says, they have seen a change in the attitude of the community.

“As the CPF we deemed it fit to bring in Major-General Jeremy Veary to talk to us about OCTA and brief all our members on the subject. Veary gave us a synopsis of how to effectively deal with crime,” says Isaacs.

The operation saw foot patrols and increased mobilisation of the community throughout December.

Isaacs says together with police they will continue to mobilise communities to stand up against drug lords and gangsterism.

Lynn Philips, CPF secretary, says they are equal partners with police.

“Police deal with the criminal aspect, while we speak with the residents,” says Philips.

“Mitchell’s Plain is being held hostage. It has already been declared a national priority as the murder capital of South Africa and also a drug capital. So in December we really focused on the drug and gang strongholds,” says Isaacs.

Operations were held in Rocklands, East­ridge, Tafelsig and Beacon Valley with new street and block committees also being established.

So far, the approach has seen several tracing operations, arrests and confiscations being made.

But Isaacs says they need more operations like Fiela and tactical response team interventions.

Locals need convincingIsaacs and Philips agree it is a struggle to convince residents to stand up and not allow drug trade to continue – a battle slowly being won.

“We have seen residents give information more frequently,” Isaacs says. He also says he is grateful to police for responding to all tip-offs and also to the community for sending them in.

“You don’t need to be on the streets to be the eyes and ears of the police; you can still help even when in your house,” says Philips.

Isaacs adds that residents need not trust police: “If you don’t want to phone the police, tell your priest or your imam. There are many different ways to share the information.”

V Isaacs urges residents to get involved in community safety structures. Call him on 082 314 6772 or contact your police sector commander.

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