The Simon’s Town Community Police Forum’s new executive committee has hit the ground running.
On Thursday, its new chairman, Andrew Rogers, represented the CPF along with Simon’s Town police at the launch of a digital survey and a police vehicle handover at the Promenade Mall in Mitchell’s Plain where 251 vehicles were given to 162 stations, including one for Simon’s Town.
On Friday, CPF members, police officers, military police and personnel from two private security companies patrolled Simon’s Town CBD in a “show of force”.
This comes after the former CPF committee quit in January over a lack of resources and manpower at the Simon’s Town police station, (“Simon’s Town CPF resigns over police staff shortages,” Echo January 12).
The new four-member executive committee was elected in March.
Andrew Rogers is the chairman, Andre Adonis is the vice chairman, Gaby Palcich is the treasurer and secretary, and Manu Choudree is head of projects.
Mr Rogers, an advanced-life-support paramedic, said the CPF was looking for more members.
“We are there to breach the gap between the police and the community, but people don’t like coming forward and voicing their concerns. If we don’t know about it, we can’t solve it,” he said.
The CPF was talking to businesses to hear their most pressing concerns, he said, adding that the forum would seek ways to address homelessness and other chronic problems.
“I believe in acknowledging problems, even if we can’t solve them immediately, and providing feedback on what we are doing about it.”
Jonathan Mills, a Wynberg CPF cluster board member and chairman of the Fish Hoek CPF, welcomed Mr Rogers’s efforts.
“They were not given an easy start due to the community’s concerns about the role of the CPF, but the CPF has shown its durability and the need for this kind of a body in communities again and again. We wish them every success and we look forward to working with them,” he said.
Simon’s Town police station commander Captain Vishnu Pillay said, “They are enthusiastic and dedicated and I look forward to working with them.”
Police Oversight and Community Safety MEC Reagen Allen said the CPF had a “huge task” ahead of it in building stronger ties between the community and SAPS while holding SAPS accountable.
“We know SAPS in Simon’s Town, like most stations across our province, is heavily under-resourced, with a police-to-population ratio of one officer for every 590 residents. I urge the CPF, as they have taken up this role, to galvanise the community. This will assist in not pointing fingers or one party blaming the other. Instead, along with SAPS, they would be able to combat crime as a collective,” he said.
Mr Rogers can be reached at 078 598 6668 or firstname.lastname@example.org