It’s time for watch

2015-08-18 06:00


Masiphumelele residents recently marched to the Ocean View police station to express their dissatisfaction with service delivery. The Ocean View Community Police Forum is currently establishing a neighbourhood watch in Masiphumelele.

PHOTO:

Masiphumelele residents recently marched to the Ocean View police station to express their dissatisfaction with service delivery. The Ocean View Community Police Forum is currently establishing a neighbourhood watch in Masiphumelele. PHOTO:

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A neighbourhood watch will be established in Masiphumelele following the disbanding of a community security group referred to as Bambanani.

Bambanani had developed a reputation for vigilante action and has allegedly killed two suspects.

The disbandment has seen a dramatic spike in crime in Masiphumelele, reported community members at a public meeting last week. The community has been left to depend on community structures for safety, they say, amid complaints over the response times of the Ocean View police.

One woman reportedly waited four days for a police visit after a house robbery.

Crime increased over the last few weeks, community members say, with one claiming “skollies” are entering the community from other areas to commit crime.

The Ocean View Community Police Forum (CPF) spokesperson, who did not want to be named for safety reasons, says crime has spiked, including incidents of robbery, house burglary and rape.

“We don’t accept the actions of Bambanani but the community is terrified. We’re pushing to start the neighbourhood watch and receive training so that we can begin addressing the safety and security concerns in the community,” she says.

The community’s complaints prompted a peaceful march to the police station, during which a memorandum was handed over to the police.

Wynberg policing cluster spokesperson Captain Angie Latchman confirms that a memorandum was handed to the station commander on Monday last week.

“An investigation has been launched by Ocean View police into the matters raised in the memorandum. A community meeting will be held shortly to address concerns raised as well as the outlining of possible solutions that will improve service delivery to the community,” she says.

But without Banbanani, the “tsotsis are going wild”, says the CPF spokesperson.

“Bambanani kept the community safe for many years. But they are no longer. We must keep our own families safe, and the way to protect them is to form a neighbourhood watch,” she says

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