‘Gloves are off,’ warns Goolam

2017-12-12 06:00
Police officers of various units were joined by safety volunteers during a special operation in Eastridge and Beacon Valley on Friday. PHOTO: Samantha Lee

Police officers of various units were joined by safety volunteers during a special operation in Eastridge and Beacon Valley on Friday. PHOTO: Samantha Lee

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In a bid to strengthen a broken partnership between police and the community, a special operation was held on Friday.

Mitchell’s Plain police officers were joined by cluster community policing forum representatives, neighbourhood watch members, street committee members, proportional representative councillors, Law Enforcement officers, reservists, detectives and officers of the stabilisation and combat units, Operation Fiela and the tactical response team.

The initiative focused on Eastridge and Beacon Valley and included searches at several houses as well as sporadic stop-and-searches, a roadblock and patrols.

The operation started at 19:00 and ended around 00:00, focusing on Rolbal, Peugeot, Zelda, Bitou and Malva streets. Drugs were seized after being found abandoned on the corner of Bietouw and Malva streets. Police confiscated tik, mandrax and heroin.

Brigadier Cass Goolam said the operation was a show of force.

“In my absence, there has been an escalation in hostility against my police members. Since 23 [November] I have had four members injured and three vehicles damaged, which is a loss of services to the people. The failure by residents to protect my officers in itself is a risk to them,” said Goolam.

“Today’s operation is to tell the community that the gloves are off.”

He said he felt the Cape Flats, and more specifically the Mitchell’s Plain poilicing precinct, was worse than current war zones in Africa.

“Mitchell’s Plain must experience the freedom for which blood has been shed. We cannot be held hostage by drug dealers and gangsters,” he said.

The operation was also the launch of the police’s festive season plan.

He added that informants passing messages to gang leaders about police operations and their presence would be punished.

“This has to stop and the community must support us,” he said.

“This is the beginning of the end.”

He added that conventional policing measures could not be taken and that under the instruction of the commissioner, they would enforce the arm of the state, with criminals “feeling the full wrath of the law”.

Major-General Jeremy Veary also joined the operation.

“The suspension of Goolam has caused division inside and affected the relationships with the community,” he said. “The structures we painstakingly built up even before the brigadier was here were dismantled.”

He welcomed the initiative to strengthen the partnership between police and the community and said this was a partnership and not a power relationship.

Abie Isaacs, CPF chairperson, thanked volunteers for their attendance and encouraged them to be safe and watch out for each other.

Other areas visited during the operation included the Town Centre, as well as warrants for all of the eight sectors in the policing precinct.

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