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MPlain safety plan drafted

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The Mitchell’s Plain Community Police Forum (CPF) cluster has formulated a plan of action for the forthcoming year with the aim of combatting and ultimately eradicating criminal activity. This comes as several policing role-players associated with the CPF came together at the end of August for a Policing Needs and Priorities (PNP) determination workshop hosted by the Department of Community Safety in the Western Cape. Here several key areas of focus were singled out, and a plan drafted on how to tackle them.

The Safety Plan outlines 15 safety objectives and a series of activities that must be implemented by identified agencies responsible, including:

– Plans to deal with increased visible policing;

– Substance abuse;

– Gangsterism;

– Improving the relationship between the SAPS and the community; and

– Continued and improved support to the different safety stakeholders such as the Neighbourhood Watch (NHW) and the Community Policing Forum (CPF).

“I believe that just like you have a business plan when you open your business, you have a plan to combat crime. This is something we have to adhere to during the forthcoming year,” said cluster chairperson Hanif Loonat.

Sticking to these plans has been something of a challenge in prior years said Loonat, adding that reports were often handed in by individual precincts. This has often led to unprofessional and unorganised plans of action. However he was confident that bringing together all the role-players for a single workshop would prove to be fruitful for the cluster.

“We’ve raised the issues, set a date to counter those issues and we’ve nominated people who are going to be responsible to oversee those items are being adhere to in the combatting of crime,” he assured.

According to the department, it has provided extensive support to Mitchells Plain, which includes:

– The training of 55 NHW volunteers in the 2014/15 financial year and capacitating NHWs with safety equipment including reflective bibs, boots and torches;

– Almost R250 000 made available to support the partnerships with the religious fraternity through the YSRP.

– 94 School Safety Marshals made available during the 2014/15 financial year to 42 schools in Mitchells Plain to the value of more than R1.6 million; and

– Funding of R55 000 made available to the CPFs in 2014/15 through the EPP.

“I note the shared concern by the cluster CPF in the availability of funds but strongly advise them to partner with the Department going forward as they only accessed 23% of the available R240 000 budgeted for the entire cluster,” said MEC Dan Plato.

Amongst the areas Loonat noted are a lack of police discipline towards senior officials as well as complainants, much needed improvements in the criminal justice system, as well as slow response times from officers.

“We’ve raised these issues where we don’t have enough police personnel, especially in the Western Cape where crime is extremely rife. We don’t have professional policing to combat these types of crimes,” he conceded.

Loonat also highlighted a need to rebuild the relationship between SAPS and the community, noting that locals were losing faith in the police. He said all parties would need to come on board to help tackle these issues.

“It is making sure all entities adhere to this plan and make sure that they play their part,” he concluded. VOC

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