There may be some relief on the horizon for residents of gang-plagued Hanover Park after provincial MEC for Community Safety, Dan Plato confirmed plans by national government to introduce a satellite policy facility in nearby Philippi. The declaration comes amid growing displeasure amongst residents over the slow response times of the South African Police Services (SAPS) towards reported criminal activity.
Plato said his department were well aware the Hanover Park public were not happy with the level of service they were receiving up; hence the announcement of a new station would come as a welcome boost.
“That is very good news and means the facility will be situated right in the middle of the Hanover Park community, which will limit response times when incidents happen in the area. It also means the public will be able to walk to the facility to have documents signed, but also to lay the necessary complaints,” he explained.
Local government has not been spared from resident’s anger either; many have demanded Metro Police do more to assist SAPS in curbing the gang violence that has ravaged the area. Plato said Metro Police did have a role to play within the community, specifically in assisting SAPS with raids and other safety measures, however their operations were quite limited.
“There is less than 500 Metro Police officers deployed for the whole metropolitan area of Cape Town, while you have just over 10 000 police officers deployed. There is a huge difference in man power,” he said, however stating that this was no reason for the two policing entities not to work together to address the problem.
If any police officials were found to be purposefully not fulfilling their duties or even aiding criminals, Plato said all complaints would be directed to SAPS and the regional police ombudsman for investigation. However he called on community members to provide more detailed proof when submitting any complaints.
“There is a difference in making allegations and bringing to us the necessary proof. We do receive very good information from the public, and that is what the public needs to continue to do,” he said.
Plato stressed that the necessary proof was needed to ensure such police officials were taken to task. VOC (Mubeen Banderker)