Members of Lentegeur Community Police Forum and sub-forum committee members were at loggerheads at a meeting convened to deliver a status report over the weekend.
The meeting was held at Lentegeur police station.
When challenged about the poor attendance, Lentegeur CPF chairperson Mark Brookes cited miscommunication as the reason many had not attended.
“I’m so embarrassed about the turn-out of the sub-forum chairpersons in this meeting. It is unacceptable for people not to attend meetings,” he said, adding that while five had been expected to attend, only two had been available.
Mr Brookes said the main objective of the meeting had been to get feedback from sub-forum chairpersons and sector commanders, and also to hear the findings of a report from University of Cape Town’s Professor John Cartwright who is conducting research on the operation of the 60 registered CPFs in the City, and educating communities about the policies relating to these structures.
He said the Lentegeur CPF was number 18 on his list.
Professor Cartwright is a member of the Civilian Oversight Committee established by the City to ensure that residents work together and understand the City’s policy.
“The reason we called this meeting is that we want to know the status of our sectors,” said Mr Brookes.
“We want to know about the hot spots, if there are gangsters or how many shebeens there are. We need to know about the number of neighbourhood watch members and find out if they are still active. or how many radios in a particular sector are needed.”
Mr Brookes also urged councillors to stop demanding radios even if there is no need for them.
“There is so much confusion created by councillors,” he said.
“If there is no crime in your area, there is no need for seven radios.”
Lentegeur CPF public relations officer Cassiem Gamiet reported that he had received 13 radios from ward councillors.
“I received seven radios from councillor Natalie Bent, three from Gouwa Timm and other three from Michael Pietersen. I also received 15 torches from the department of Community Safety, and I notified sub-forums to select names of the neighbourhood watch (members) who are going to handle them,” said Mr Gamiet. All the radios, however, have not been activated, he noted.
“All the equipment is handed over to sub-forums to be distributed to neighbourhood watches. And people must take responsibility for these radios because they’re so expensive. Each radio costs R900, so you can imagine…” he said.
Mr Gamiet urged people to stop gossiping and rather to attend meetings where they can get correct information first-hand.
“People must stop to listening to third parties,” he said
The chairperson of the Sector 3 sub-forum, Basil Coetzee, however, blamed Mr Brookes for the poor attendance.
“Chairperson (Brookes) you can’t be angry at people who couldn’t attend the meeting. There was a poor communication about the meeting and that should not happen again,” he said.