Peoples Post Woodstock-Maitland 13 December 2011
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E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Tuesday 13 December 2011 Tel: 021 713 9440 Fax: 021 713 9481
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Community Policing Forumsaround Cape Town have reactedto news that they will soon beable to exercise a small amountcontrol over the Citys law en-forcement departments.
Alderman J P Smith, chairman ofthe mayoral committee (Mayco) forsafety and security, said that fromnext year CPFs would be able to as-sign specific tasks to the Citys met-ro police and traffic department.
Smith said that the point of theprogramme was to help improvethe partnership between CapeTowns law enforcement agenciesand CPFs, and to make better use ofthe limited resources available tothe City.
What I want is an accountabilitymechanism, where the communitycanholdmystaff accountable, saidSmith.
I want them to be able to assignspecific duties and priorities to thetraffic law enforcement and metropolice. So we are giving them a timesheet and every day they can allo-cate a priority to each one of theseservices. The following month mystaff must then report on what theyhave done.
The programme is still in its de-velopmental phase and the finer de-tails will be worked out in Januarynext year when Smith and the restof the Safety and Security Maycomeet with CPF heads.
However, Smith envisions that itwill involve the CPF leaders meet-ing with a metro police and trafficservices representative and thenfilling in a timesheet to say howwhat they would like the law en-forcement officers to concentrateon.
Smith believes that the city, CPFsand the neighbourhoods they servewill benefit greatly once this sys-tem is implemented.
For the community, the benefitis that the staff are held accounta-ble. They will fill in the timesheetwith what they want the law en-forcement to do and the staff thenwill report back at the next meetingon what stats were generated, and
what happened, and what theyfound there, said Smith.
For the city, the plus side is thatwe wont be just sitting with thecommunity shotgunning a largelist of requests. At the CPF meet-ings what usually happens is thatone person will say this and anoth-er will say that. And you end upwith a list of about 20 things that arepriorities and that you have to beresponsible for, and, quite frankly,you end up not being responsiblefor any of them.
The benefit for the city is that itwill compel the CPF to exercise itsmindonwhat thepriorities are, andto allocate the resources availableto them accordingly.
Senior CPF leaders in Cape Towndo not all share Smiths confidencethat the project will help to reducecrime in their areas, or improve co-operation between themselves, theCitys law enforcement agenciesand the police.
While some welcomed the move,others criticised it heavily.
Hanif Loonat, chairperson of theWestern Cape Community Policeboard, was ecstatic upon hearingthe news from the Peoples Post.
Im lost for words. If thats whathe (Smith) told you then he needsto be applauded for taking such astance. He is now coming to thesame page, said Loonat.
That is what we have been ask-ing for all along (for the city) tostart using the CPFs. CPFs legallyrepresent their communities. Weare excited that he has decided touse us as his partner.
We appeal to him to let this bea lasting relationship, and one thatbefits our communities.
But Michael Jacobs, MitchellsPlain cluster CPF chairperson, saidhe was sceptical about how effec-tive the plan would be.
He criticised the city for not in-cluding CPFs in the planning proc-ess and said the Metro Polices ina-bility to bring charges against crim-inals could result in the systembreaking down.
The plans that JP Smith put onthe table are not attainable. I dontthink they will be fully realised,said Jacobs.
When it comes to law enforce-ment, they (the Metro Police) donthave the powers to investigatecrimes and they dont have the pow-er to take the suspects to court.They have to hand the suspects tothe SAPS.
That calls for greater co-opera-tion between law enforcementagencies, which is the ideal situa-tion, which to my knowledge isntcurrently happening. Everybody ishaving their own little operations.
Cassiem Christians, AthloneCPFs chairperson, criticised theCitys law enforcement for theirpast failures, but welcomed themove if it resulted in more co-opera-tion between the city and CPFs.
We welcome the fact that therecan be a much closer working rela-tionship between the CPFs and thecity law enforcement, said Chris-tians.
If we can have this particular
close relationship we can make theimplementation of crime preven-tion operations much more effec-tive. We welcome his (Smiths) posi-tion that there needs to be this part-nership.
We need to start planning on along-term basis how we are going todeal with not only crime, but withcrime prevention.
The programme will also giveteeth to neighbourhood watchesaround the city, by training and ap-pointing some of their members asfully-fledged metro police reserv-ists.
Smith said that the reservistswould be embedded in the neigh-bour watches they came from oncethey had completed the trainingand passed all necessary tests.
Theofficerswould thenbearmed,legally be allowed to conduct searchand seizures and would be able tomake arrests.
STREET SAMBA: THE Cape Town Carnival took part in the TwilightRun recently with performers dancing their way down Long Street inhigh heels and glamorous carnival costumes. The celebratory paradeof the 2012 Cape Town Carnival takes place on 17 March 2012. Anestimated 1500 performers representing 40 community groups fromacross the Mother City will take to the street accompanied by largecolourful and impressive nonmotorised floats. Animating the Citystreets are from left, LisaEllenMarais, FreedomMalgas and ShereleenJanuary all wearing the 2011 Samba costume. Story, page 9.
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