Police acknowledge their ‘eyes and ears’

Recipients of the Catch of the Year award, from left, Sergeant Deirdre Solomon, CPF vice-chair Leon Oosthuizen, Constable Ibiwe Manakaza, Lieutenant Colonel June Cilliers, Sergeant Shaun Meyer, Captain Johann Booysen and Captain Edgar Jones. Absent: Warrant Officer Reese Harvey, Constable Donavan Pietersen and Constable Elroy Pietersen.

Kirstenhof Police held an award ceremony last week to thank police officers and residents who have gone above and beyond the call of duty.

The Catch of the Year Award was presented to Kirstenhof police officers who went in search of Franziska Blöchliger’s killers earlier this year in Tokai Park.

Lieutenant Colonel June Cilliers said she had made a promise to the 16-year-old’s parents that they would make an arrest before the end of the day. And with volunteer reservists and neighbourhood watch members coming out in force from all over the valley she could keep her promise.

But the evening did not get off to a smooth start. The CPF chairman Tony Jantjies and its secretary, Anthea Thebus, were involved in a car crash.

Mr Jantjies was taken to Melomed Hospital in Tokai. Ms Thebus arrived later, with
his speech, which expressed confidence in the police’s ability to
protect women and children against violence during the festive season.

CPF vice chairman Leon Oosthuizen said many people who complained about police response times did not realise how under-resourced they were.

“The neighbourhood watches are their ears and eyes and it’s pleasing to see the collaboration between the two groups,” he said.

Lieutenant Colonel Cilliers presented awards to representatives from neighbourhood watches of Kirstenhof, Bergvliet, Kreupelbosch,Meadowridge (BKM), Tokai, Constantia Hills and Nova Constantia.

Geoff Fox, who was the Kirstenhof CPF chairman for eight years, told police staff and their guests that he is now chairman of the Wynberg Cluster CPF.

He now has 11 police stations in the southern metropole where he is finding that areas such as Masiphumelele and Ocean View have very different challenges to those in Kirstenhof.

Mr Fox is also on the provincial board of 16 CPFs which include Beaufort West, Wynlander, Paarl and Da Gama Kop.

Lieutenant Colonel Cilliers ended the evening saying: “You’re safe in my hands and safe in my prayers. You will always have my back, don’t worry.”