Building safer, informed communities

Crime in the Diep River police precinct is down by half but that has not stopped a group of women from wanting to make their community safer, a community meeting heard on Tuesday night.

Diep River police Sector 1 commander Constable Zak Marais described how earlier this year the women of Steurhof had expressed their willingness to work with the police after a number of drug-related issues (“Street plagued by drugs,” Bulletin January 19).

In January the women formed a sector sub-forum committee to assist the Diep River police with issues facing the communities of Steurhof, Diep River, Plumstead, Southfield and Golf Links Estate.

About 50 people were at Tuesday’s meeting at South Peninsula High School, including police personnel, elderly residents of Musgrave Park and Advocate Jerome Norris, who stood in for Community Safety MEC Dan Plato, who had been called away to an urgent meeting.

Constable Marais said the police had established sector sub-forum committees to build safer, informed communities.

“I want to change the mindset that many have about of not having faith in the police. We all want to live in a safer community, with no drugs, no prostitution, no crime,” he said.

Charmaine Lillie, chairperson of Plumstead Neighbourhood Watch, said more patrollers were needed to tackle crime.

“Until now, it’s the women who’ve come forward. Where are the men?” she asked.

Zeid Baker, acting principal of South Peninsula High School thanked the police and community for raising the issue of drugs in the small community and said by working together they could get rid of the gangs.

Captain Marais said tip-offs from the community were vital. “We may not always have the manpower or the vehicles but if it wasn’t for the community we would not always know what crime is going on,” he said.

Diep River police station commander Lieutenant Colonel Mzwandile Gqabi said the Diep River Community Police Forum (CPF) had been headless since its chairman Michael Kent had retired. And like any family that was not good, he
said.

The sector sub-forum committee chairwoman is Alexis Serra with Lowena Carolus as deputy. Anya Gerber is the secretary and Ursula Schenker is treasurer. For more information about the sub-forum, contact Ms Serra at 083 472 4373 or
Constable Marais at 021 710 7300 or 079 894 0105.

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