Cluster needs another cop shop

Tygerberg Cluster Community Police Forum board chairperson, Lesley Ashton, at the cluster annual general meeting on Tuesday February 28.

Another police station is needed in the Tygerberg SAPS cluster to ease mounting pressure on the precincts already battling crippling staff shortages.

That was the message that came out loud and clear at the Tygerberg Cluster Community Police Forum Board’s annual general meeting in Bellville last week.

While most of the seven CPFs in the cluster worked well, according to chairwoman Lesley Ashton, there had been interventions at Goodwood and Kraaifontein to ensure improved governance.

In his report, Kraaifontein CPF chairman Gavin Riddles raised the issue of youth gangs terrorising the community. He said there had been an incident the night before (Monday February 27) when a 15-year-old allegedly stabbed to death a boy his age.

According to police a boy was arrested for murder on Friday February 24, in Kaizer Street, Wallacedene.

“A 15-year-old boy was stabbed and fatally injured. A 15-year-old suspect was arrested,” Sergeant Noloyiso Rwexana of the provincial media office said.

The boy appeared in the Blue Downs Magistrate’s Court on Monday February 27 and the case was postponed until Friday April 21, she said.

Mr Riddles said they also had several projects in the pipeline, including one for school drop-outs in Wallacedene. He said a march would take place in April for another police station “on the north-side” and a court in the precinct.

Bellville CPF chairman Hennie Koekemoer said the station had lost 25 police cadets – transferred after completing their training – in August last year, “severely affected policing there”.

“They became an integral part of Bellville SAPS and did effective policing,” he said.

Mr Koekemoer called lower Boston, lower Oakdale, De La Haye and Bellrail a “goldmine” for prostitution, drugs and vagrancy.

“Bellville is a strong and growing business area for legal and illegal business,” he said.

Ms Ashton said sector policing in Bellville was “working well”.

“We’re seeing excellent results in the reduction of crime,” she told the meeting.

Durbanville CPF chairman Denzil Smerdon said the station’s driving-under-the influence (DUI) figures were “unacceptable”.

Stats contained in a 10-month review by cluster commander Major General Thembikile Patekile, showed 133 arrests in Durbanville for that offence.

“Our young people don’t take heed of the dedicated driver. It is devastating to see them in the cells the morning after an operation – completely bewildered,” he said.

General Patekile’s report, delivered by former Parow station commander Colonel Gert Nel, now based at the cluster office in Bellville, showed there had been 7 061 drug-related arrests in the cluster in 10 months.

The highest number of these arrests were in Kraaifontein (3 234), followed by Bellville with 1 737 drug arrests.

Major General Patekile said police were running operations in crime hot spots, and senior officers were working after hours and at weekends to “ensure service delivery”.

His report said a gang strategy would be devised with the help of Kraaifontein’s station commander, Brigadier Gerda van Niekerk.

In her chairperson’s report, Ms Ashton said the cluster board would continue raising awareness of staff shortages in Tygerberg.

There was a need for another brigadier-ranking police station in the cluster to ease pressure on the other stations and “serve the massive growth of population taking place north of Durbanville”.

That message needed to reach provincial and national level, she said.