Police referee states his case

2015-10-15 06:00
MEC for Community Saftey, Dan Plato listens on as Advocate Vusi Pikoli, the Western Cape Police Ombudsman (WCPO), addressed a meeting of stakeholders, at Bonteheuwel Civic Centre

MEC for Community Saftey, Dan Plato listens on as Advocate Vusi Pikoli, the Western Cape Police Ombudsman (WCPO), addressed a meeting of stakeholders, at Bonteheuwel Civic Centre

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Advocate Vusi Pikoli said the involvement of residents in the fight against crime was paramount if the scourge was to be defeated.

Pikoli is the Western Cape Police Ombudsman. He was speaking at Bonteheuwel Civic Centre on Friday, addressing safety stakeholders at a Community Policing Needs and Priorities meeting for the Nyanga and Bishop Lavis Police Cluster.

Pikoli was accompanied by Dan Plato, Mec for Community Safety and also members of Community Policing Fora (CPF) in the region.

He said crime has reached alarming levels and that residents should also assist police to keeping their communities safe.

“We are here to make sure that communities have a role to play in policing, we need to admit that crime is getting out of control.

Complaints have got to be investigated by police so that residents would be able to report cases in the knowledge that they will be properly investigated.

Members of the community must have confidence in police investigations,” Pikoli said.

The meeting also addressed the issue of vigilante killings, which is on the increase.

Pikoli said the issue of vigilante killings need to be addressed by building relationship between police and residents so that residents would report crime to the police instead of taking the law into their hands.

He said the Ombudsman has a mandate to monitor police conduct, overseeing the effectiveness and efficiency of the police service and promoting good relations between the police and the community, in terms of Section 206(3) of the Constitution.

Those who can lodge a complaint with the Police Ombudsman include members of the public, including foreign nationals and tourists visiting the province but are dissatisfied with the service received from any structure of police, or any member of the provincial parliament, organised civil society and any other department or organisation.

Pikoli also said his office does not interfere with court decisions.

The advocate and the former head of South Africa’s National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), said they have received 205 complaints from residents across the province since December 2014.

Plato also emphasised on the issue of community taking part in the fight against crime.

“We all need to be serious about the fight against crime,” he said.

Sandile Martin, chairperson of the cluster CPF, said the issue of resources has been a challenge at Nyanga police station, but it has since been resolved.

He said they have noticed that smash-and-grab and carjacking incidents have increased in recent weeks.

“Motorists should put valuables in the boot of the car.”

Martin said the Operation Stopper which started in Nyanga is showing good results

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