The police are no longer a force but a service and the members of a community police forum (CPF) are the service custodians, says Kraaifontein CPF chairman Mawethu Sila.
Mr Sila said the CPF, which elected four new members at the end of last year, acted as a middleman between the community and the police.
This means that if the community has lost faith in the police it is the CPF’s responsibility to rebuild the relationship. It was also the CPF’s role to hold the police accountable.
The new CPF members are: youth coordinator Andre Theron, liaison officer Gavin Riddles, secretary Diedius Basson and deputy secretary Joline van Niekerk.
Mr Theron’s new role will be to strengthen the CPF’s relationship with the youth.
Mr Sila said: “We need to know what is happening at the schools. If there is bullying, drugs, anything that is affecting the youth, we want to know about it, so that we can be involved there and assist.
“We don’t want them to feel hopeless and useless. Youngsters are running around the streets, during school hours, doing nothing. We want them to know that we have this structure. We want to see what your challenges are. We want to help them.”
Mr Sila said sub-forums, once finalised, would liaise with community organisations, schools, churches and residents.
“The community must know their role,” he said. “They must assist with information sharing… If the community shares the information with police, the criminals can be exposed.
CPF contact numbers:
Chairperson Mawethu Sila: 078 304 2479
Youth coordinator Andre Therron: 079 663 3229
Treasurer John Smidt: 063 372 0072
Liaison officer Gavin Riddles: 079 534 3567