Instead of piling suspects into the back of the van, Mitchell’s Plain police packed bags of clothing and food which they distributed to needy communities.
Sergeant Roxane Matroos, from the station’s social crime prevention unit, said they wanted to give back to the community in honour of International Nelson Mandela Day celebrated on July 18.
The station’s Women’s Network and Men for Change collaborated to collect clothing and funds to have food cooked and served to the needy communities of Mitchell’s Plain.
They distributed donated clothing and food to residents in Eastridge on Wednesday July 20.
Sergeant Matroos encouraged residents to unite against crime and to report suspicious activities.
“You know who belongs in what house and what is illegal. Call us so we can sort out the problem,” she said.
Rudolf and Juliana Stevens, accompanied their son Jayden Zass, 6, to the handover where the boy’s mother fitted on a long-sleeved top for him to keep warm.
They live in a wood and iron structure, which is not conducive to the well-being of her other son Zachary, 4, who has cerebral palsy, a group of disorders that affects one’s ability to move and maintain balance and posture. He is in the care of social services but Ms Zass said despite their many challenges, they believed they would be a family again.
Among these challenges, she said, were that they do not have water nor electricity and that their home was rather cold.
Station commander Brigadier Cass Goolam said it was important for the community to move away from the perception of “them and us”.
“This is their police station. The public knows the real Mitchell’s Plain SAPS, who care about our people, work hard and are not perfect,” he said.
“We are all human and the police is here to serve,” said Brigadier Goolam.