Trust in cops ‘at all time low’

2017-03-07 06:00

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Members of the Grassy Park Community Policing Forum (CPF) want to see an improvement in policing services in the area. They are calling on residents to join them in a march to the police station on Saturday.

Dan Plato, provincial community safety minister, is to receive a memorandum from the CPF on Saturday at noon calling for changes to improve service delivery and to highlight some recent problems.

CPF spokesperson Phillip Bam explains the peaceful community march will express dissatisfaction with police service delivery.

“This march follows many initiatives, including an official call for a commission of inquiry into the state of policing at Grassy Park. We are unhappy with very long response times, lack of feedback on cases, constantly being told that there are not enough patrol vans to attend to complaints and the weak efforts to oppose bail, resulting in repeat offenders being back on the streets after ­arrests. Complainants in some cases waited for days before a police official attended to their complaints.

“Even when community memberes and neighbourhood watches apprehend suspects, police response is slow and sometimes the neighbourhood watch is forced to let the suspect go because of lack of police response. “Often police refuse to open cases when the community wants to lay charges. It has become so bad that community members have to make citizen arrests and transport suspects in their own vehicles to the police station for formal arrest.”

Bam says the relationship between the police and the community is at an all time low.

The march will start on the corner of Buck Road and 5th Avenue in Lotus River at 10:00 and proceed along 5th Avenue to the Grassy Park Police Station.

Grassy Park station commander Colonel Shawn van Wyk says he was not aware of the march.

van Wyk has confirmed that the CPF has requested an inquiry from the provincial commissioner, Lieutenant-General Khombinkosi Jula, as well as the police ombudsman, advocate Vusi Pikoli, but are still awaiting the ­outcome.

V For more information about the march call Phillip Bam on 083 658 3885.

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