Police moving in with mobile unit

2015-10-27 06:00

A mobile policing unit will be housed at the Masiphumelele community hall while a permanent site is sought.

The mobile unit will be situated on the grounds of the community centre, behind the green palisade fence, says subcouncil chairperson Felicity Purchase.

“It will be used until the police acquire a permanent venue for a police station. Suggestions and options have been put on the table by myself and these will each be explored. This could take six to 12 months, or longer,” she says.

Last month, national deputy minister of police Maggie Sotyu backed a proposal for a satellite police station in Masiphumelele during a visit to the area with provincial police commissioner Major-General Thembisile Patekile.

This followed complaints from the community about a lack of visible and effective policing by the Ocean View station, as well as slow response times when crimes were reported.

Over the last month, the community has been rocked by a spate of vigilante killings; the first in retaliation to the rape and murder of a 14-year-old boy. This has been followed by attacks on suspected drug dealers and protests against community members arrested in connection with the mob justice.

Ocean View station commander Lieutenant-Colonel Rufie Nel says the mobile point has been approved for Masiphumelele and will be stationed in the parking space in front of the community hall.

Community Police Forum (CPF) chairperson Kathy Cronje hopes the unit will be installed within weeks. She says dedicated police officers will be stationed at the facility with vehicles.

An electrical connection and toilet facilities will be made available to the police officers on duty, Purchase says, and the unit will have no negative effect on the community using the hall.

“It is envisaged that a permanent police presence within Masiphumelele will address some of the problems with getting police to respond to calls. They will also be available to do affidavits and certification of documents, which is currently being done by the councillor and at Ocean View station. They will also have a base from which to do visible policing within Masiphumelele,” she says.

Cronje says the CPF is hoping to establish a neighbourhood watch, which will work with the police mobile unit. “We’re hoping people will feed information to the police once they are integrated,” she says

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