New cops onto drugs, alcohol

2016-03-08 06:00

A crime prevention unit of five police officers is expected to start operating in Ocean View next month.

This was announced at a public meeting – held in Ocean View last Tuesday in a partnership between the Ocean View Civic Association, the Ocean View police and the Community Police Forum – to address community members’ safety.

The police station has established the unit to focus predominately on drug and alcohol-related crimes, says Captain Angie Latchman, spokesperson of the Wynberg policing cluster.

Kathy Cronje, chairperson of the Community Police Forum (CPF), confirmed that the Ocean View police have received 14 new officers, with another four scheduled to begin this month.

Since January, operations and vehicle checkpoints are carried out almost weekly. Thirty-two houses have been searched for drugs and two illegal firearms confiscated.

“Our detectives have arrested most of the murder suspects – we have never seen people working for such long hours. They have seized incredible amounts of tik, mandrax and dagga,” says Cronje.

The cluster plans to approach the provincial police commissioner to have Ocean View declared a gang area, Latchman says.

Despite statements from top Ocean View police officials that the area had been declared a gang area, Latchman confirmed that this had not yet taken place.

“A recommendation will be forwarded to the provincial office to consider classifying Ocean View as a gang area. However, only the provincial office can make the final decision on the classification of gang stations,” she says.

Latchman did not respond to a query about the criteria required for a suburb to be declared a gang area.

Cronje says it unfortunately remains unclear as to “what is involved in being declared a ‘gang station’”.

“I gather that the only person who can answer is the provincial commissioner himself. So on behalf of the community we have formally asked the cluster to find out for us. As I do not know what the criteria for a ‘gang station’ are, I have no idea what this would mean for Ocean View. Perhaps we should look at the criteria and consider the repercussions before we ask for this status,” she says.

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