Reassuring community’s safety

Civilian Secretariat for Police, Jeff Xaba, addresses the role of community policing forum.

The Gugulethu Community Policing Forum (CPF) and a number of other stakeholders held a robust and informative capacity-building workshop at Khwezi hall on Sunday March 15.

The aim of it was to pin-point some of the key underlying issues facing the area’s policing and to find ways to revive community participation.

The sentiment was that the CPF was not effective and was slowly collapsing.

CPF chairperson, Sonwabile Magida, said one of the key factors of this workshops was to talk openly and honestly about matters facing the functions of various community structures in the area.

He explained that the forum would elect a new structure today, Thursday March 19, and it was therefore critical to iron out their issues and differences before the conference.

Mr Magida said he had joined the forum quite late and currently it had only five people serving on the structure. In the beginning, he said 11 people had been elected to be part of the forum.

He said one of the points raised at the workshop was that people who joined had no idea what was expected of them. Furthermore, he said some joined community structures with the expectation that they would receive payment, which was not the case.

Mr Magida told Vukani that the CPF had been accused of failing to mobilise the community and working effectively with other community structures.

He added that each street was encouraged to have a patrol committee with every resident playing his or her role in combating crime.

“We need to ensure that we work with all stakeholders. We must put political differences aside and pursue one goal of creating a safer Gugulethu. We must not put unnecessary pressure on police officers. Instead we should work together.

“Every resident has a role to play and people should point fingers at others while they were doing nothing. Churches must have a crime portfolio to assist existing structures in fighting crime. Crime fighting should not be for some people and not for others,” he said.

Representative of the Civilian Secretariat for Police, Jeff Xaba, said through the workshop, they hoped to build a community safety plan for the CPF and a plan to be accepted by Gugulethu precinct.

Mr Xaba said it was raised repeatedly that politicking and those elected did not understand their roles and responsibilities.

He said the CPF was responsible for getting the community involved in helping police officers to fight crime in the area. He also also applauded the residents who continued to be part of community forums which sought to make a change in society.

Ward councillor, Khaya Yozi, said it was critical that the CPF was revived and become effective in its role of assisting the police service.