’Our task is to be problem solvers’

Mitchell’s Plain Community Police Forum (CPF) subforum representatives now have a better understanding of their roles and responsibilities in partnering with police to help solve crime.

Mitchell’s Plain Community Police Forum’s Eastridge sub-forum chairman Ian Britz, pictured left, speaks to Justin Lottring Department of Community Safety’s deputy director for community police relations.

Together with SAPS and the Department of Community Safety’s (DOCS) deputy director for community police relations Justin Lottring – they put heads together to find ways to improve service delivery, report crime and combat crime during a workshop at Mitchell’s Plain police station on Saturday November 6.

Mr Lottring said: “Community police forums bring the police and the community together to solve problems of crime.

“Our task is to be problem solvers,” he said.

“The CPF is a legislative body in terms of the law of the country,” he said.

It is embedded in the SAPS Act, with each CPF and board in the province, each having a uniform constitution.

It is the task of the police to prevent, combat and investigate crime; maintain public order; protect and secure the people of the country and their property; and uphold and enforce the law.

“Each province may monitor the police conduct or service and promote good relations between the police and the community – that is the CPF’s function,” he said.

Clive Bailey, Rocklands sub-forum deputy chairman, said it was important for everyone to be on the same page and that they had split their roles so that the sub-forum operated like a “mini CPF”.

They have initiated a localised victim support group and have Rocklands neighbourhood watch on board.

“We compile a report which is handed to the CPF to better understand and manage challenges we face as the Rocklands community,” he said.

The CPF must give input through a policing needs and priorities (PNP) programme into the community safety plan, which is drafted annually and incorporated into the police station plan.

Captain Ian Williams, spokesman for Mitchell’s Plain police station, said the meeting had been fruitful and had brought fresh ideas and perspectives to improving police service delivery.

“This is the next level in having teams in each sector, who are self-sufficient in a way and we can support them,” he said.