CPF resigns in protest

2015-12-01 06:00

The entire executive committee of the Simon’s Town Community Police Forum (CPF) have resigned following an annual meeting yesterday.

The mass resignation follows complaints over the recent transfer of two senior officers from the Simon’s Town police station to Ocean View.

“This has resulted in Simon’s Town, which was already significantly understrength, being deprived of two highly experienced officers without any replacements. As a direct result, the service delivery from this station is significantly compromised,” says CPF vice-chairperson David Erickson.

The transfers were followed by a public email protest campaign aimed at stopping the transfers, which was “totally ignored by the police, apart from complaints from police senior management about the campaign and the resulting heavy email traffic”, Erickson says.

Other issues have also contributed to the resignation, Erickson says, such as the difference in race between the residents of the area and the staff at the station.

“International policing standards call for the staffing of local police stations to reflect the ethnicity of the area concerned. By the police’s own standards, a station should represent the demographics of the precinct it serves,” he explains.

Two white male officers have been transferred to Ocean View where the demographics are 96% other races and 4% white, whilst Simon’s Town’s demographics are 54% white and 46% other races, Erickson says.

“All new recruits at Simon’s Town are black, which further exacerbates the already significant imbalance of demographics at this station,” he says.

Police understaffedSystematic audits, carried out over the last two years by the CPF, have “consistently recorded major concerns about the understaffing”, Erickson says.

“At night there is frequently only one officer at the station and one officer out on patrol, for a precinct that covers 152km2 – the largest in the Cape metropole. Despite many requests for feedback, the audit findings have been totally ignored,” he says.

Erickson believes all these indicate that the CPF is “not getting any support from the police. This was debated at a recent executive committee meeting, with the conclusion that the time and expertise of the volunteers are being wasted. This in turn drove the decision for the mass resignation,” he says.

Wynberg police cluster management declined to comment until after the resignation, following an embargo on the CPF’s statement.

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