Residents in the Steenberg policing precinct will now have a number they can use to anonymously report where an illegal firearm is being kept, and the person who reported it will be rewarded.When a resident reports an illegal firearm and it is confiscated, the person who reported it will receive a R10 000 reward.The number to report to is 078 330 9333, and the call will only be attended to by senior police personnel. All information will be confidential and the reporter won’t be identified.Steenberg Police Station commander, Colonel Jan Alexander, says the reward system will help them a lot. “This will help by all means. We are facing a huge challenge with wanted people and we have no doubt that the reward system will bring a breakthrough for a lot of cases. “We also want to assure the residents that their details will be confidential and there will be no identity revealed. We are calling on the community to help and work with the police,” he says.This new initiative was revealed following MEC for community safety, Alan Winde’s, visit to the Steenberg Police Station and the Lavender Hill Base Camp. Crime is exacerbated across the Western Cape, as 85% of the province’s police stations are understaffed. The Steenberg Police Station has a police-to-population ratio of one officer to every 533 residents, compared to the national average of 1:369.Winde’s spokesperson, Marcellino Martin, says the minister wants to see all of society getting involved in crime fighting. “This is why a number has been activated that residents can call to anonymously report where an illegal firearm is kept and the person who reported it will be rewarded with R10 000,” he says.Martin adds that also, on an ad hoc basis as part of the government employee “volunteer” campaign, government employees who are on a level 2 and higher salary scale will be released to act as commissioners of oaths at various police stations. “The government has 84 000 employees, and their deployment can make a significant difference, as it will release a large number of police officers from their desks, thus ensuring more police personnel are visible in our communities, fighting crime. Following the adjusted budget allocation, the minister will make a further announcement about specific support and empowerment plans that we have for our volunteer structures, such as neighbourhood watches and community policing forums, as they are essential cogs in our crime-fighting machine,” he says.V Continued on page 4.