CPF summit welcomed

Shaykh Sayed Ridhwaan Mohamed, exco member Cape Town Ulama Board, Colonel Dawood Laing, station commander of Grassy Park police and Moulana Sayed Imraan Ziyaee, deputy president of Sunni Ulama Council Cape.

The first Community Police Forum Summit in the Western Cape, hosted with the City of Cape Town and Cape Winelands Districts, was held at Turfhall Primary School, in Lansdowne, on Saturday August 5.

According to Shaykh Sayed Ridhwaan Mohamed, exco member of the Cape Town Ulama Board, the summit was welcomed by and addressed by exco members of the Western Cape Provincial CPF Board, and featured speeches from local government officials and SAPS representatives.

It unites over 85 station representatives.

The summit focused on topics related to increasing transparency, policy framework on community policing, police oversight and funding models to support CPFs, improving community safety, and creating an atmosphere of trust within the region,” said Mr Mohamed.

In attendance was Western Cape Community Safety and Police Oversight MEC Reagen Allen, City of Cape Town District Commissioner Major General VP Beaton and deputy president of Sunni Ulama Council and exco member of Cape Town Ulama Board, Moulana Sayed Imraan Ziyaee.

Pictured, from left, are Colonel Dawood Laing, station commander of Grassy Park Police, Melvin Jonkers, chairperson of Grassy Park CPF, Nicole Jacobus, deputy chairperson, and Ivan Coghlan, secretary.

Mr Mohamed said: “Moulana Sayed Imraan Ziyaee addressed the summit with a brief opening prayer and talk focusing on spiritual crime prevention and volunteering.”

Colonel Dawood Laing told Southern Mail the CPFs had been enlightened by the event. “We needed to share with the CPFs new strategies and the new district that was formed. We have been divided into three sub-districts now compared to the two that we had. We are now east, west and south districts.”

Colonel Laing said there was discussion of the way forward for the police. “We are implementing evidence-based policing to see if we can maybe improve our conviction rate. We also discussed the importance of sector policing, junior commissioners etc.”

Colonel Laing said SAPS are still facing the challenge of shortage of police officers. “The numbers of police (officers) is quite shocking as we basically don’t have enough new recruits.”

Melvin Jonkers, chairperson of Grassy Park CPF, agreed that the CPF had been “enlightened”.

“It was a confirmed cohesion among role players such as the CPF, local government, SAPS and Department of Correctional Services. We can as a collective help with safety and security,” said Mr Jonkers.

He said the Provincial Board updated Constitutional Amendments and established sub-committees, which include a committee that will for example deal with disputes, etc. “They will from time to time report feedback to the main body.”

Mr Jonkers said R70 million was allocated to support CPFs with programmes to educate the community.

Mr Mohamed said: “At the end of the summit, the attendees agreed that greater collaboration and increased transparency are essential to maintaining public trust and creating safe communities. Representatives pledged to work together to continue to strengthen police-community relations and ensure a safer South Africa.

“The conclusion of the summit marked a new chapter for the Western Cape region. With increased collaboration between police stations, local authorities, and CPF’s, the Western Cape will move forward with the aim of becoming a safer and stronger region,” said Mr Mohamed.

Fransina Lukas, Western Cape Provincial Community Police Board chairperson, said the summits are aimed to emphasise community mobilisation with specific deliverables, such as implementing crime prevention measures, rebuilding trust between SAPS and communities, implementing the Community Policing Strategy, and enhancing cooperation between the community and police for safer communities.