If the Police are not here – why are we here?

LEPHALALE — Members of the Lephalale Police once again shone in their absence during the GPF meeting held on Thursday 21 June.

Jacques Snyman, who led the meeting as acting chairperson, confirmed the concern of a CPF member and resident of Marapong who said that the time to talk is over. “If the police are not here, why are we here. We are wasting our time if SAPS is not here,” he said.

The resident said that since he started to attend the CPF meetings a few years ago, nothing has changed. “The same items stay on the agenda and we never get to a solution. Noise pollution, drug abuse, drunken driving, you name it. We discuss these items month after month. The time to talk is over, we have to DO something. If we don’t do something, the community will take the law into their own hands and then Lephalale will experience a massacre,” he said.

Snyman said there is no excuse for the police not attending the monthly meeting, but that community members should stay calm and act responsibly. He said the first thing to do is to ensure what the rights of the community members are concerning public arrests and acting against crime. “If the local Police fail us, we have to discuss the matter with the Provincial Head and if that doesn’t make a difference, we will have to discuss it on National level,” he said.

It was stated that the dates of the CPF meetings are provided in advance and the Station Commander as well as other role players at the Lephalale Police Station receive the minutes as well as the date of the next meeting via email. The police should attend the meeting to listen to the concerns of the community.

The function of a CPF meeting is to bring role players in the community in direct contact with members of the SAPS in order to discuss issues and problems in the community.

According to cvwa.org.za/community-police-forum/ the objectives of the CPF are to:

  • Establish and maintain a partnership between the community and the police;
  • Promote communication between the community and the police;
  • Promote co-operation between the community and the police in fulfilling the needs of the community regarding policing;
  • Improve the rendering of police services to the community at local level;
  • Improve the transparency in the service and accountability of the police to the community; Promote joint problem identification and problem solving by the police and the community in relation to crime, service delivery, disorder, and poor community police relations;
  • Monitor the effectiveness and efficiency of the police;
  • Evaluate the provision of visible policing in the Sector area;
  • Promote the aims and objectives of Community Policing and facilitate the functioning thereof;
  • Implement projects in the interests of improved community safety.

The responsibilities of the CPF are to:

  • Advise the SAPS regarding local policing priorities – jointly identify policing priorities for presentation to the MEC for Community Safety;
  • Facilitate in resolving concerns, problems and complaints from community members regarding policing;
  • Harmonise the relationship between the police and the community;
  • Request the Station Commissioner to provide crime information analysis on policing on a quarterly basis and as when it is required;
    Obtain regular feedback from the community about the quality of police service delivery;
  • Initiate and support community based crime prevention projects;
  • Inform the community about the activities of the CPF and sub-forums and engage them accordingly; Ensure effective management of the forum’s resources;
  • Monitor and request reports on the activities of the Sectors and ensure the sharing of good practices;
  • Requesting enquiries into policing matters in the locality concerned;
  • Ensure the implementation of Sector Policing; the monitoring of the effectiveness and efficiency of the Service;
  • The evaluation of the provision of visible policing priorities, including: the provision and staffing of the Police Station;
  • The reception and processing of complaints and charges; and
  • The prosecution of offenders.

Mogol Post spoke to Warrant Officer Frans Mokoena, Lephalale Cluster Spokesperson, on Friday 22 June about the absence of the Police at the CPF meetings and according to him, he wasn’t aware of the meeting the previous day. When it was stated to him that their absence is the rule rather than the exception, he said there was a SAPS Provincial meeting scheduled for the same time and all members had to attend.

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