Cape Town - Three neighbouring community policing forums have joined forces in response to the worrying vigilante justice trend causing division between their communities.
Following the shocking murder of two young men believed to be victims of a vigilante attack, the Gugulethu, Nyanga and Manenberg community policing forums have combined their efforts in the fight against crime.
The forums say they are looking to launch and institute various engaging programmes in efforts to raise awareness about crime-fighting and to recruit ordinary community members to actively fight against crime in hot spot areas between the communities.
Gugulethu CPF Chairperson Thembinkosi Mjuza said the idea behind the collaboration of the structures was to come up with a strategy that would fully utilise and reinforce the purpose of the SAPS supportive structures.
“Community policing forums are supposed to work in conjunction with the police, in support of the policing of their communities. We felt that our structures were moving away from that purpose and we wanted to sit and figure out how we can actively be what we were created to be, for the betterment of our communities.
“Especially as we were dealing with various worrying crime trends that left much to be desired. From mob attacks to increasing house robberies and also prostitution in some areas,” said Mjuza.
"We believe that to purposefully tackle these issues we needed to come up with sustainable solutions, and seeing as how our residents had begun to believe crime was trickling in from our neighbouring communities it was important to bring those teams on board, to work together as we have the same goal to reach,” said Mjuza.
The driven community forums along with local community neighbourhood watch teams and street patrollers last week held intervention initiatives, actively marching to show visibility and patrolling areas known to be hot spots for selling stolen goods.
Nyanga CPF chairperson Sandile Martin said: “As the Nyanga CPF we joined forces with the other two forums because we believe that is the way we can combat holistically fight crime.
“Following the killings of the two young men, tensions had risen and the situation was fast becoming problematic, however, since our intervention, things are calm and we are working to maintain and improve that.
“This could be the formula that works. Our police stations cannot work without the residents working with them and the more our residents become involved and supportive the more strides we take in ensuring safer communities, for all,” said Martin.