The re-elected chairperson of the Mitchell’s Plain Community Policing Forum (CPF), Abie Isaacs, has vowed to institute new and innovative projects to deter crime in the area. This comes as a wave of gang violence and shootings in recent months, has heightened fears amongst residents in the area.
Speaking following his re-election to a further five year term on Wednesday evening, Isaacs reassured that all re-elected members as well as those new to the organization, would work to bring about newer crime prevention projects in the area.
“However we will continue with the projects that we have run for the past few years that we’ve been in office. This is looking at youth, women, children, people with disabilities, and seniors. Those are the five key focus areas we will be looking at for the next five years,” he explained.
The CPF structure has come under scrutiny from Western Cape Community Safety MEC, Dan Plato, who has accused some branch members of using the forum to further their own interests. Isaacs admitted this was the reality in some areas, where it was found that some CPF members were not executing their mandates. Furthermore, he suggested that some were purporting to serve under the CPF, when in fact they were “representing the jackets”.
“The CPF in itself is an apolitical structure, and we will continue to be an apolitical structure. We are representing the aspirations of the community itself,” he stressed.
Wednesday’s election saw the introduction of several new members within the Mitchell’s Plain CPF structure. This includes the election of a new deputy chairperson, who previously served at the Cape Town Drug Counseling Centre. Isaacs said this would provide the CPF with better skills and knowledge to tackle a rampant drug problem in Mitchell’s Plain.
“We know that substance abuse is a problem within the Cape Flats. So with his experience, we will be looking at possibly training 30 people in terms of substance abuse,” he noted.
The CPF has also seen the establishment of a new Cape Flats Safety Forum, aimed at finding the best manner in which to deal with the notion of crime. Isaacs, who is serving as interim chairperson for the forum, stressed the need for such a structure within the community. He highlighted a lack of comprehensive approach, even from within the CPF, to deal with the notion of gansterism and drug abuse.
“The problem is with CPF’s, they are boundary based. For example, we have three stations operating within the Mitchell’s Plain police station…yes we understand that there are boundaries, and we have to respect them. But sometimes crime doesn’t have boundaries, and that’s the idea behind the Cape Flats Safety Forum,” he explained. VOC (Mubeen Banderker)