Where were the police?

2019-04-02 06:00

Claremont and Mowbray Police Stations were forced to rely on law enforcement officials for two days, on Monday 18 and Tuesday 19 March, when all the police officers allegedly failed to report for work.

With the exception of the senior police officers and management team, it is alleged that the rest of the officers took sick leave, while others took family responsibility leave.

According to reports, the organisations that stepped in worked with the senior officers to keep the flow of the basic services.

Though the members of the organisations were happy to step in, there was a concern about the safety of the community.

A source that cannot be revealed said police are one of the public servants that work in critical departments and that their jobs could not be just neglected at any stage, putting citizens at risk.

Dereck Bluck, the chairperson of the Harlyn Neighbourhood Watch confirmed that they were requested to assist Claremont police “due to staff shortages that they were experiencing at the time.”

“Harlyn welcomed the opportunity to be of assistance as it gave our patrollers a chance to learn what it was like to deal with the public from a policeman’s point of view. We hope to be of assistance in the future should the need arise again,” says Bluck.

Jonathan Hobday, the chairperson for the Mowbray Community Policing Forum (CPF), said in the area, organisations put in a joint effort to make sure the station was operative all the time. He said these include the City Improvement District patrols, the Sybrand Park citizens’ patrols and the private security institutions.

Station commander for Claremont Police Station, Colonel Maree Louw confirmed that members of day and night shift were on sick leave and on family responsibility leave all at once. Louw said the station managed by filling those positions with other members like sector commanders and other office staff, and that the neighbourhood watch assisted the members during the night shift.

“Community policing is important to us and it is good to have a relationship with our partners like the CPF, neighbourhood watch and other forces to assist when needed, as we all have one common goal and that is to prevent and fight crime in our areas. We have contingency plans in place should this happened again, and appreciate the help of the neighbourhood watch.”

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