THE Newly appointed Pinetown Community Policing Forum (CPF) promises to work closely with the police in order to combat crime in the area.Pinetown CPF chairperson Tony da Canha said: “The police cannot work in isolation when trying to combat crime. The police are linked with the CPF to enable [it to play] a constructive role while working to reduce crime and violence in the various areas.”He explained that the role of the CPF is to represent the community. “This should be seen as a co-operative effort to facilitate a process of problem-solving. The objective of this partnership is to determine, through consultation, community needs and, by working with the community, to promote trust, accountability, transparency, and effectiveness in trying to eliminate crime. “People are often apathetic until highly visible crimes such as rapes or robberies occur in their communities. The apathy stems from a lack of knowledge about the frequency and seriousness of the crime committed in the neighbourhood. The community in general shows little interest when it comes to attending CPF meetings. It is sad that these are the same people who shout the loudest: ‘Where are the police’ when crime occurs in their area.” He said it is absolutely essential for the community to work with the police and become vital role players to identify criminal activity. “We all need to be proactive and work towards solutions and creating a safer environment. We need to be positive and refuse to be victims. Experience has shown that increased citizen involvement results in more effective crime control. The majority of crime solved by the SAPS is a direct result of information provided by members of the community. The CPF is the platform where safety and security matters are addressed. It is the legislated platform to deal with matters relating to crime and our safety.” When asked about the challenges faced by CPFs, da Canha said: “Criminal activity and vulnerabilities within our community in fighting crime are a big challenge. It is essential that we get the community to attend monthly meetings in the various areas, and to work with the CPF, as they can become the eyes and ears in terms of reporting crime.” He added that CPF members deal with various issues, including poor turnouts of the community in attending CPF meetings, reporting crime and opening cases at the police station. For more information on the CPF meetings, contact the Pinetown Police Station at 031 325 5041.