Dunoon residents have accused SAPS of moving a mobile police station in the community without notice.
The station was set up near the taxi rank in January (“Dunoon welcomes mobile police station,” Tabletalk, February 15), but it was relocated from there to the Dunoon clinic, about 2km away, shortly before the EFF’s national shutdown on Monday March 20, say residents.
The station was back at the rank on Monday March 27.
In 2019, Dunoon residents staged a march, protesting about crime in their community and calling for their own police station (“Demand for better policing in Dunoon,” Tabletalk, October 30, 2019).
Community activist Thembelani Ndabezimbi said the mobile station could clearly not be relied on if it could be moved suddenly without the community being told.
“For years, we have been asking for a police station in Dunoon – a permanent one. It’s not sustainable having to go to the Milnerton or Table View stations as they are very far from here. The population of Dunoon has grown rapidly over the years so there is even more need than ever for a station here.
“We were so happy to see the mobile police station stationed here even though we didn’t know how it got here and how long it would operate for. But as shown by recent events, a mobile station is not reliable as they can just move it any time they want without the knowledge of residents.”
Milnerton police spokeswoman Captain Nopaya Madyibi said the mobile station had been moved to the clinic in anticipation of unrest caused by the shutdown protest.
Resident Terry Skhova said that did not inspire confidence in the police.
“It’s things like this that hold our country back. How do we have police who run away from a protest? Isn’t it their job to be here and make sure that things don’t go wrong during a protest? This was the most shocking thing to me. In terms of the station itself, we need a permanent one. We can’t be waiting for over an hour when we call Milnerton or Table View SAPS to respond to reports of crimes here.”
Asked about any long-term plans to establish a permanent police station in Dunoon, Captain Madyibi referred Tabletalk to provincial police headquarters, which did not respond to questions by deadline.
Before the mobile police station returned to the rank, Mr Ndabezimbi started a petition on change.org calling for both its return and the establishment of a permanent police station in the community. The petition had 121 signatures at the time of going to print.
“The signatures are just a sign of how serious the need for a police station is in Dunoon. This will help us when we argue on the basis of having a permanent police station in Dunoon,” he said.