The Grassy Park Community Police Forum (CPF) held its annual general meeting on March 10 where a new executive committee was elected to lead community crime-fighting initiatives for the next five years.
The new committee members are Melvin Jonkers, chairperson; Nicole Jacobus vice-chairperson, Ivan Coghlan, secretary; Captain Wynita Kleinsmith, assistant secretary, Saadiqah Manie, treasurer; David Benjamin, project coordinator; and Abdurahgmaan Ganief and Yaseen Meyer as additional members.
“A partnership between CPF and SAPS will ensure a great partnership with the community and together we can fight crime,” said Captain Kleinsmith.
Certificates of appreciation were also awarded for excellent service.
Two of the longest serving members, Yaseen Meyer and Philip Bam, spokesperson of the CPF, were recognised for service to the community in fighting crime.
Carola Neighbourhood Watch received a certificate for the co-ordinating and support service they provide for neighbourhood watches in the area.
The station commander of the Grassy Park SAPS, Dawood Laing was acknowledged for his outstanding leadership and building good relationships with the community.
Mr Jonkers and Colonel Laing complimented the neighbourhood watches for their contribution to bringing crime down, said Mr Bam.
Also discussed was the, “disappointment with the criminal justice system that fails to convict drug dealers because of the doctrine of presumption of innocence.”
Mr Bam added: “A plea was made for changes to the relevant legislation to make it easier to rid the community of drug peddlers who destroy the minds of the youth and children. It was noted that killings by gunshots have decreased and most of the murders are now as a result of knifing.”
When asked what has CPF and SAPS had been doing to minimise those gun-related deaths, Mr Bam said the special crime prevention units had focused on the search and confiscation of guns, which
will continue. “However, gangsters are also afraid to show guns because the likelihood of it being confiscated is higher than before.”
Mr Bam said the CPF and SAPS had an “excellent working relationship”.
“Much of it has to do with the attitude of current leadership at both SAPS and the CPF.”
Mr Bam said there are regular consultations with police on duty and the CPF office at the police station is open regularly.
Mr Bam said the CPF will encourage more community participation and sharing of information.
“The approach will be to develop a zero tolerance towards all crime.”
He said the motto of the CPF is, “See something, say something and do something.”