Provincial Minister for Community Safety in the Western Cape, Dan Plato officially handed over safety kiosks to the Hanover Park and Manenberg community on Monday. Members of the local Community Policing Forums (CPF), residents, faith leaders and police attended the event as it ushered in a new approach to effective police services in the socio-economically challenged areas on the cape flats.
Plato spoke to VOC after the hand-over, he explained that the single kiosk will also offer other services to the community which include; SASSA pension pay out, roadblock support, crowd control, immediate response to crime scenes and residents can now also lay complaints at the kiosk if a police station is far out of immediate reach.
“Metro Police officials will man the kiosk with the assistance of CPF members. They will receive remuneration for their services,” Plato added.
However, Plato further expressed that his only concern with the kiosk is that it is not bulletproof.
“The big problem with the kiosk is that it is not bulletproof so I am reluctant to give it exclusively to the CPF and community workers. At this point, only our police officials are equipped to deal with possible hostile incidents. However, in partnership with the CPF we will be discussing where the 24hr kiosk will be most effective in the area,” Plato said.
In response to Plato, Manenberg CPF Chairperson, Abdul Kader Jacobs shared their excitement in the initiative. Jacobs said that the kiosk will be especially useful when instances of crime take place, the kiosk can be situated in that particular area as to ensure residents/eye witnesses have easy access.
“This can provide us with the opportunity to get vital information from members of the community. When there is volatility in the area, we will place the kiosk on the edge of that area to make it easier for people to come to the kiosk and feed us with information that could potentially quell the volatility,” Jacobs continued.
When asked about the effectiveness of one kiosk to serve the entire Manenberg community, Jacobs shrugged that the kiosk is a mere shell without the assistance and support from concerned local residents, CPF and police to want to actively work together to ensure positive development in the area.
Police’s Captain Ian Bennet added that the initiative could mark the beginning of a closer working relationship between police and members of the community.
We can now ensure that people can see our policemen on the streets. This kiosk will result in an increased police visibility in the area. With the issue of gang violence, we hope this can help us combat the scourge,” Bennet added.
VOC (Ra’eesah Isaacs)