The role of Community Policing Forums in local communities

2018-10-04 06:01
New executive members for the Verulam Community Policing Forum. PHOTO: ANDILE SITHOLE

New executive members for the Verulam Community Policing Forum. PHOTO: ANDILE SITHOLE

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COMMUNITY structures that represent the community to make their policing concerns heard to the police are known as Community Policing Forums (CPF).

Recognised structures such as a CPF offer a platform where residents, organisations, and other relevant stakeholders can meet to discuss local crime prevention initiatives.

CPF is the only recognised consultative forum designed to permit communities to make their policing concerns heard to the police.

The CPFs also aim to improve transparency and accountability of the SAPS and promote joint problem identification and problem solving.

Chairperson of the South Sector Policing Forum Reuben Govender said CPFs play a pivotal role in rooting out criminal activities in the community.

He said the aim of community structures such as these is to forge a strong partnership with the SAPS in order to improve police services through proactive partnerships and programmes with the communities.

“The CPF reports directly to the SAPS all criminal activities that happens in the community. Partnership with the members of the SAPS is crucial to the CPF. It is through that partnership that we are able to combat crime in our communities.

“We live in a society where people are not well educated on the dynamics of the SAPS. As leaders in the community in the CPF, it is our mandate to educate our people on how the SAPS works,” Govender said.

Govender said the community structures assist with the arresting of suspects and identifying crime hotspots.

“We do lots of educational programmes in the community, distributing pamphlets to ensure that our community is informed about topical issues in our areas,” Govender said.

Residents in the south sector in Belvedere have created WhatsApp chat groups in a bid to eradicate crime in the area as well, he said.

“These WhatsApp groups were created by members of the community. Each street has its own group and we hope this initiative will be a success,” Govender added.

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