The new Steenberg Community Policing Forum (CPF) chairperson Gavin Walbrugh has vowed to continue the sterling work that was done by his predecessor.
He took over from Lucinda Evans who now heads the Mitchell’s Plain CPF cluster.
Mr Walbrugh, a Retreat resident for the past 28 years, is no stranger to the safety sector.
He has been a community worker for decades and got involved in the CPF about 10 years ago.
He has also co-run a soup kitchen and outreach programmes in Hillview and Lavender Hill for years.
He was also involved in neighbourhood watches, was secretary of the Steenberg Neighbourhood Watch Forum and also fulfilled the position of neighbourhood watch co-ordinator, liaising with police sector manager and the Department of Community Safety.
He then went on to become secretary of the Steenberg CPF.
Mr Walbrugh first became involved with community projects because of his passion for community upliftment. “One of my passions is to work in the community no matter their social status, particularly the impoverished community; to be the voice of the voiceless,” said Mr Walbrugh.
He added that drug abuse, gang violence and domestic violence are high on the CPF’s agenda. “These issues are a huge concern and we are working very closely with Steenberg police management and NGOs in our area to change the mind-set of the community and that’s part of the reason why we established sector sub-forums in all four police sectors,” said Mr Walbrugh.
He also hopes to restore the trust of the community in the police. “We also want the community organisations to work together and for the churches to work closely with the organisations. We also need to get the business forum re-established because it is very disappointing that the business sector does not have any representation on any of the for-
Mr Walbrugh encouraged resi-dents to work with the CPF, to report crime, no matter how insignificant it may seem.
“They can report crime to the police community service centre (charge office) on 021 7029000 or 10111 and ensure to get a reference number and if they are not satisfied with the service received that they request to speak to the commander of the shift,” he said.
He also encouraged residents to report bad service delivery immediately and not to wait for a public meeting months later.
“The community must understand that if we don’t report crime and complain about bad service delivery we will not receive the manpower to ensure the level of service is improved,” he said.
Ms Evans said she fully trusts that Mr Walbrugh will stand in good stead as new chairperson.
“He is a humble, fantastic guy and he’s been involved with the CPF for many years. He has leadership qualities, and a heart and passion for the community and that is why I nominated him to be the CPF chairperson. He’s also a hard worker and very meticulous so we are blessed to have a chairperson of his calibre,” said Ms Evans.
She said the transition to new CPF chairperson was smooth despite the volatility in the area because of gang violence.
“I ask the community to work with Mr Walbrugh and trust him because he only has the best interest of the community at heart,” she said.
Mr Walbrugh thanked his wife and his four children for their encouragement and support. He also thanked Ms Evans for her guidance, councillor Kevin Southgate (Ward 72), Steenberg SAPS station commander Colonel Jan Alexander, Lieutenant Colonel Adriaan Saulse and executive members of the CPF.
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