Elsie's River gets mobile police station

2017-05-25 13:05
People prepare for Police Minister Fikile Mbalula's visit in Elsie's River (Jenni Evans, News24)

People prepare for Police Minister Fikile Mbalula's visit in Elsie's River (Jenni Evans, News24)

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Cape Town - Elsie's River in Cape Town received a mobile satellite police station on Thursday to help assuage the community's concerns about under-policing in the vast area.

"This will really help us," said Rhodene "Pote" Davids, who has lived in the area for 48 years.

Davids and her friend Pearl Damon, a resident for 42 years, volunteer their time at a nearby Shoprite to help protect people from robbers who target them for their grocery money.

They also help pull young children out of trouble if they see them getting mixed up with dangerous people.

Damon laughed and said Rhodene got her nickname because everybody knows she would chase after troublemakers and deal with them.

Speaking outside the Adriaanse Civic Hall while waiting for Police Minister Fikile Mbalula to cut a blue bow on the mobile police truck, the women said people were fed up with poor service from the police.

They said the police took too long to respond to calls for help, but they hoped that the mobile police office would help.

They hoped that the truck would park at the smash and grab hotspot on the corner of 35th and Owen streets, and in the feared veld behind Shoprite where criminals are known to lurk.

The van will offer certification and crime reporting services, with backup such as victim support staff being called in.

While people waited for Mbalula's arrival to cut the big blue ribbon on the truck, a major carriageway nearby was blocked because of a service delivery protest further down the road near the highway to the Cape Town International Airport.

Police accused of not doing enough

Children set up goal posts with a jacket and a brick for game of soccer in the fog at the end of that road.

A parent nearby explained that some schools were closed for Ascension Day, a Christian event.

Meanwhile, children and adults waited in a neat queue to enter the Adriaanse Hall for the opening ceremony, while the Elsie's River cadets drilled to the beating of a big drum.

A bakkie arrived with the small food parcels that are customarily handed out at government events.

Children from the flats over the road ran screaming earlier when a car backfired.

The suburb was the scene of a massive shootout believed to be gang-related earlier in May.

On Saturday, 3-year-old Courtney Pieters' funeral service was held in the same hall.

Some people in the community have accused the police of not doing enough to find her alive.

She disappeared on May 4 and was found in a shallow grave the day before Mother's Day, May 13, during another search by concerned neighbours and volunteers.

On Wednesday, Mbalula was in Nyanga and promised a satellite police station for that vast area too.

Read more on:    cape town  |  crime

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