Cape Town - The newly formed Wesbank Women’s Movement is collecting signatures for a petition that demands a police station for the crime-ridden area.
Elvina Cleghorn said the organisation had been asking for a own police station since 2016, but had not been given positive answers. Last Saturday, the community worker and her partner, Yvonne Petersen, collected more than 800 signatures.
“We started the Wesbank Women’s Movement in July, the same month we met. We established the movement with all the relevant stakeholders. We decided to do something that was needed in the community. One of our greatest concerns is the high crime rate and the unsatisfactory services we get from Mfuleni police station,” Cleghorn said.
“We decided to march and hand over a memorandum to SAPS demanding that they give us a police station, which is needed. Their reasoning is not acceptable. We are saying there are too many people dying, too many armed robberies and crime perpetrated by the youth and gangsters.”
Cleghorn said the organisation wanted a satellite police station so people did not have to go all the way to Blue Downs or Delft to report incidents.
“We understand the red tape, but we are asking to get a small satellite police station. The crime statistics of Wesbank are inaccurate. My opinion is that 95% of the cases do not get reported because our people need protection. You get robbed while going to report a case,” she said.
“Phoning SAPS is a different case; 99% of the time the van will not come out to you. Our demands have gone to the sector commander. We handed them over on August 26. We started a petition after we had been asking for the police station since 2016.”
Cleghorn said the Community Policing Forum and neighbourhood watches had supported the organisation with its request.
“They want to tell us about more visibility and extra police vans. We want people to walk to a police station that is in the area.
“Currently, people get discouraged because they don’t have taxi fare to go and report a case. We are of the opinion that we can change the area,” she said.
“We will achieve that through every sector in Wesbank. We will make the positive change we envisioned when we started the movement.”
Councillor Ebrahim Sawant said load shedding had contributed to crime.
“Women get robbed and they are afraid to walk in the dark. We have been engaging with relevant stakeholders. I have also signed because I know there needs to be a police station in Wesbank,” he said.