Community partnership pays off, says police chief

Table View police station commander Colonel Junaid Alcock spoke at a public meeting last week about efforts to combat crime in the community. Table View CPF chairman David Harris is seated next to him.

Partnership with community crime fighters is helping to keep violent crime in check in Table View, says the precinct’s police chief.

Speaking to about 50 people at a public meeting, at Church on the Rise last Thursday, Colonel Junaid Alcock said he felt positive about the work the station was doing to combat crime with support from the community.

Referring to crime data from April to August, he did not go into detail but said that April had seen high rates of violent crimes and property crimes.

“We had an issue with assaults and assault GBH (with intent to cause grievous bodily harm) and most of these are domestic-related. Commonly amongst these, the perpetrator is known, and these assaults happen indoors.

“We also had a problem with armed robberies, business robberies and house robberies. With all that said, we were able to make inroads on these crimes as well as others in the months of May to August,” he said.

Partnerships with the neighbourhood watches, armed-response companies and Community in Blue patrollers had helped to bring down violent crimes in the area, he said.

June had seen a series of business robberies, especially in Parklands, with foreign-owned spaza shops targeted, he said.

“They were targeted because these shops are normally on a street corner and in a place where you wouldn’t expect someone to be robbed. But in July we made a breakthrough. We caught one of the robbers in the act. One vagrant was shot and wounded during the shooting that ensued during that failed robbery. Since then, we haven’t had any business robberies where foreign shops were targeted. The robber is still in custody.”

Tabletalk reported on the increase in spaza-shop robberies in the Table View area in June (“Shop robberies more than double in Parklands, cops say,” Tabletalk, June 28).

Aziza Nolan from Peace Home, a non-profit refuge in Parklands for abused children, said SAPS could do more to combat the abuse of children and women in the area.

“What is happening with these crimes? We have young children being sexually abused and women being raped. Human trafficking is an issue for us all here in the community. We know we have brothels in the community as well. What is SAPS doing about this? Drug dealers are also selling drugs to little kids in the neighbourhood. What is SAPS and its partners doing about these crimes?”

Colonel Alcock said there had been many accusations of brothels and human trafficking in the area, but no evidence had been provided to support those claims.

“We rely on our informants and we do our intelligence, but there is no evidence to support some claims made by community members. We do take these allegations seriously, but we cannot do anything without the evidence. If there is something concrete, we will liaise with the Hawks in that regard.”

Colonel Alcock said the station had a division that offered support to victims of domestic violence and abuse.

Ward councillor Jonathan Mills, who was at the meeting, said he was pleased to hear about the station’s efforts to combat crime in the community.

“I want to thank those officers who perform their duties with commitment and diligence – as well as the community police forum and the neighbourhood watches – for being such an effective team in our community.

“While we are blessed to live in an area of relative safety, we know that we as a community must continue to stand together to prevent the criminal elements from gaining a foothold. We must stand together and not be cynical. I call on everyone to continue reporting crime and playing an active part in keeping our community safe.”

About 50 people attended the meeting last Thursday.