Cape Town women running CPFs in tough areas

2016-04-29 08:11

Cape Town  A group of women have become amateur sleuths and guardians against crime in their regular patrols as the Community Policing Forum (CPF) of Nyanga, often described as the 'murder capital' of Cape Town.

With no uniforms and just a smidgen of training, they help overworked police by pounding the dusty pavements, and, when necessary, chasing after suspects.

"We are not allowed to hit people anymore," said the diminutive Umme Mbuqe during a walkabout by community safety MEC, Dan Plato, in Phillipi.

CPF volunteers from Nyanga with Community Safety MEC Dan Plato (Jenni Evans, News24)

"Now we take them to the hall and question them and hand them to the police," said Mbuge.

Report information

On Wednesdays and Fridays residents can report to the women of the CPF if they have information that could be useful in catching a criminal.

"For example, you buy a phone but then you find out that phone was stolen. You come and tell us who sold the phone to you and we go and find that person and ask some questions and then tell the police," she explained.

On Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, "the busy period", the women patrol the streets, either by keeping watch for any suspicious activity, or by driving with a policeman.

They also visit shebeens and taverns and plead with the owners and bar staff to not serve pregnant women, women who bring children under 18 into the bar or minors.

Threatened sometimes

"Sometimes they threaten us," she said. "One day a gang of about eight to 10 men were walking with guns and then saw us and fired some shots in the air. They did not hurt us but it was a bad day for us. 

"And some people throw stones at us," she said. "But we do it because we love the job."

One of the nicer jobs is helping children cross roads safely after school. If they find a child wandering around during school hours while their parents are still at work, they take them home or find somebody to keep an eye on them.

They receive a R300 stipend for their efforts, which they hope will be increased.

They said they had received some training from the police, but desperately wanted more.

Recently Cape Town Mayor Patricia De Lille thanked the CPF members fanned out around the province, saying they were an integral part of policing efforts.

Read more on:    cape town  |  crime  |  good news

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