Community Police Forums and anti-crime activists said the highlight of this year had been the deployment of the army to help the police combat crime. File picture: Armand Hough/African News Agency (ANA)
Cape Town - Community Police Forums (CPFs) and anti-crime activists said the highlight of this year had been the deployment of the army to help the police combat crime.

Khayelitsha Cluster chairperson Francina Lukas, who also acts as provincial board chairperson, said CPF structures in the province were at the forefront in the fight against crime and had taken up campaigns against crime and executed a number of crime- prevention projects in communities.

She said the aim of their campaign was to fiercely lobby for more police resources. She said they also called for the deployment of force multipliers such as the army.

“We had a provincial crime summit, where various government departments were invited to pledge their assistance and contributions in the fight against crime, and the deployment of neighbourhood watch volunteers at schools in areas with high crime rates.”

Sandy Shuter, chairperson of the Strandfontein CPF, said they were the same cluster that demanded that the army be deployed after “we protested in front of the provincial commissioner’s building”.

The protest involved eight police stations: Athlone, Lansdowne, Mitchells Plain, Lenteguer, Grassy park, Steenberg, Philippi and Strandfontein.

Lukas said more still needed to be done, including advocating for better co-operation between the police, and provincial and local government crime-fighting agencies.

Bonteheuwel community activist Henriette Abrahams said even though they had seen a decrease in their murder rate in their area, “we still have a situation where we find a displacement of crime”.

“We are experiencing an increase in robberies, smash-and-grabs at our traffic intersections, and more knife attacks instead of gunshots,” Abrahams said.

However, Community Safety MEC Albert Fritz said his department maintained a positive relationship with the majority of CPFs at station level.

He said, on Tuesday, he met with the acting provincial police commissioner Sindile Mfazi. “It was concluded that a further meeting should take place, including with the CPF Board, to ensure the swift conclusion of the CPF electoral annual general meetings.”

The National Assembly’s police committee has called for constructive engagement between the Civilian Secretariat of Police and the Community Safety Department, to resolve the challenges that CPFs in the province raised.

Committee chairperson Tina Joemat-Pettersson said the committee had also met with the CPFs and neighbourhood structures from the province last month to address challenges they faced on a daily basis when carrying out their work in the communities.

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Cape Argus