Residents of Gugulethu have been encouraged to join the Community in Blue (CIB) patrollers.
Gugulethu police station commander Colonel Alroy van der Berg said CIB patrollers are volunteers and the group reports to the community police forum (CPF).
Colonel Van Der Berg was speaking during the event at the station where members of the CIB received new uniforms on Wednesday February 22. The station donated 20 reflector jackets and caps to the Sector 2 police precinct led by Captain Mveleli Faku.
The station commander said the new uniform will enable the patrollers to be easily recognisable to the community during their voluntary patrols around the areas of Kanana, Barcelona and Luyoloville in Gugulethu.
He urged the volunteers to know the difference between the CPF and CIB saying one cannot wear two hats when out on patrol.
Colonel Van Der Berg reminded the patrollers that the CIB concept is regulated in a way in which a community member can actively participate in the fight against crime without a professional qualification or previous experience. “The objectives of the CIB concept are to promote reporting of criminal activities and any suspicious behaviour in the communities, increased visibility to deter criminal activities, and active community participation in crime prevention initiatives. The principles of volunteering as a patroller should be adhered to. Those are accountability, dedication, and commitment,” he told them.
He added that they are expected to know, understand the code of conduct. “This does not mean you have power to arrest. You are the eyes and ears of the police and the Community Policing Forum like the neighbourhood watch. We value the fact that you are willing to help in the fight against crime. We value your willingness to be part of safety and security,”
Gugulethu spokesperson Sergeant Sanelisiwe Ngqele also made a call to residents to report the cases of extortion in the area. She said there have been murders related to extortion. “We call on the community to work with the Community in Blue, respect them and support them. Now that we are faced with extortion, we would like their contribution in reporting such cases. In the last months we have been faced with triple and double murders that are linked with extortion. Our intelligence is working day and night to fight the scourge but we would need residents to be the ears and eyes of police. They know who does what because these are individuals that live with them.”
Member of CIB Nolubabalo Thobi said the donation boosted the morale of the group. Ms Thobi said people will now respect them more because they have a uniform.
“I started (volunteering) in 2014 with a few other people when we saw that those who were using a train or bus in the early hours were victims of robbers. It was then that we decided to wake up and protect people. I am glad to be making a difference in the community,” she said. .