In response to a number of recent shootings, car hijackings, business robberies and reports of extortion in Khayelitsha, members of the community police forums of Site C, Site B, Lingelethu and Harare conducted a joint walkabout denouncing crime.
Various community stakeholders and police officers from Khayelitsha police station, Lingelethu West police station and Harare police station joined the walk from Site C to Site B and Harare handing out pamphlets and offering safety tips.
Residents were urged to play an active role in fighting criminality in Khayelitsha and it was emphasised that fighting crime did not rest on the shoulders of police alone.
Lingelethu community policing forum (CPF) chairperson, Lunga Guza, said cases of gender-based violence, business robberies and other major crimes in Khayelitsha had increased. He added that delivery trucks coming into the area were being targeted and now had to be escorted by armed security guards or police officers.
He said they also wanted residents to know exactly which police station had jurisdiction over their area and who their area commander was.
“We wanted the residents to rebuild their street committees and have area WhatsApp groups with police officers in it so that they could easily report crime,“ said Mr Guza.
“We also shared safety tips with the community and which numbers they should call.
“We also note that it is young people who are now recruited into robbing these delivery trucks. We want to reclaim our streets,” he said.
Cluster commander for Khayelitsha, Blue Downs and the Tygerberg area, Major General Vincent Patrick Beaton, said it was important that they stood together in the fight against crime in Khayelitsha.
He said SAPS was committed to serving the people of Khayelitsha and forming partnerships with them to address crime.
He said criminals were cowards and were in the minority when compared to law-abiding residents.
Harare resident, Siyabulela Mzenzi, said such walkabouts highlight the vital role that community structures and police played in fighting crime.
He said many residents, including himself, were oblivious to everything that was being done to address crime.
Khayelitsha CPF cluster chairperson Francina Lukas, said residents were tired of living in fear and were taking a bold step in reclaiming their streets and community.
She echoed the sentiments that residents need to show their support towards law enforcement agencies and community structures in fighting crime.