Police come under fire

2015-05-05 06:00
Community Police Forum chairperson Mark Brookes addresses residents at the meeting held at the Lentegeur Civic Centre on Wednesday 1 April.

Samantha Lee

Community Police Forum chairperson Mark Brookes addresses residents at the meeting held at the Lentegeur Civic Centre on Wednesday 1 April. PHOTO: Samantha Lee

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Tensions ran high at a recent Community Police Forum (CPF) meeting in Lentegeur.

The first of its kind, about 150 residents gathered to raise concerns about crime in the area.

CPF chairperson Mark Brookes gave a detailed report of the CPF’s first few months in office.

A panel consisting of police management, ward councillors, subforum executive members and CPF members answered questions raised at the meeting.

Station commander Colonel Elizabeth Hermanus reported that crime in the area had decreased significantly. “We noticed that house robberies were a big problem in the area and we worked on it. Since then contact crime has decreased,” she said at the meeting.

Hermanus was challenged and criticised for several decisions taken recently.

Lentegeur West Ratepayers Association chairperson Peter Hoffman said that police in the area were not doing their jobs. “We want to know why the police caravan in Aloe was removed. The people there are suffering. Police are meant to stop and search and all they do is drive past,” he said.

Hoffman was referring to a caravan parked at the Turksvy park in Lentegeur (“A safer play park”, People’s Post, 20 January).

The caravan was set up after police confiscated R1200 worth of drugs.

Extra resources were then made available to ensure the safety of schoolchildren living near Turksvy Street.

Lentegeur police and the Mitchell’s Plain tactical response team had set up a mobile police caravan on the tarmac after growing concerns that children were being exposed to drugs and violence.

At first Hermanus refused to comment but later responded, saying: “Residents in the area told us that they did not want it there. At the same time we were running low on resources and manpower. At the same time we also had a crisis with the gang tension in Woodlands. So if the residents don’t want it, we need to move it to an area that needs it.”

Drugs, domestic violence and poor police performance were other hot topics at the meeting.

“We need to eradicate the drugs from our area completely,” one resident said and received much applause.

Another resident, Anthea van der Vent, said she was concerned that a police van had driven by when their sector commander had chased after men following a shooting. She asked that the visible policing officers be addressed.

Hermanus, however, said that the duties of these officers are vast and that complaints need to be attended to.

“I am surprised that I was not informed about this,” she said. “However, the sector commanders are mini-station commanders and they are in charge of their teams. If they need help they can call on them.”

Hermanus also urged residents to report crimes as it helped towards crime analysis.

“If we do not know about it, we do not know that those matters need to be addressed,” she said.

These issues were brought up in imbizos held last year. Hermanus also urged residents to attend these events.

Contact numbers for vehicles and sectors were another grievance.

Hermanus urged residents to contact their relevant sector commanders.

V Sector 1 (Mandalay and Mont Claire): Call Sergeant Lwanyana on 082 522 2693.

V Sector 2 (Lentegeur East and Montrose Park): Call Sergeant Booysen on 082 378 9294.

V Sector 3 (Lentegeur West and New Woodlands): Call Warrant Officer Pietese on 079 894 9684.

V Sector 4 (Woodlands, Harmony Village, Morgan Village and West Cape Villas): Call Warrant Officer Prins on 079 894 1504.

V Sector 5 (Colorado, Rondevlei, Wildwood and London Village): Call Warrant Officer Appels on 082 411 2408.

V Alternatively, make contact with the police station on 021 377 5000 for the switchboard or

V 021 377 5001 for the station commander or

V 021 377 5048/9 for the charge office or

V 08600 10111 for CrimeStop

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