A Milnerton police boss was in the firing line last week as Parklands residents fumed about poor service.
The residents complained to Brigadier Ntsuteng Mabusha, deputy cluster commander at Milnerton SAPS, about a lack of police manpower, cases not being followed up and the frequent closure of the Parklands satellite police station (“Residents riled by closures,” Tabletalk, April 12).
Some 30 residents and community police forum (CPF) members attended the meeting at the Parklands Sports Club, on Thursday April 20.
The Table View CPF Sub Forum 2, which includes Parklands, Parklands North, Sunningdale and River Gate, announced its new exco members during the meeting. They are: Marius Wiese, chairman; Janet Bossert, vice chair; Nadine Ross, projects; Elna Matthews, secretary; and Ken Spies, treasurer.
The meeting opened on a positive note with CPF chairman David Harris noting a 5% drop in the area’s crime, according to the last figures.
“When you consider SAPS Table View is 50% understaffed we need to laud this fact and the partnerships that exist between the CPFs, street committees and the neighbourhood watches,” he said. Warrant Officer Niekie
Knoetsen, from Table View police, told residents that increased patrols were helping to bring crime down in hot spots, such as areas around Gie Road, Wood Drive and Humewood Road.
“Criminals are very clever when they target areas and, needless to say, will steer clear of areas where there is a boost in patrols, thus the lesser-patrolled areas saw more cases than the hot spots,” he said.
Mr Harris appealed to Brigadier Mabusha to intervene to keep the Parklands satellite station open.
“Please will you come back to us,” he pleaded. “People are not reporting cases because of the closures there. This is a rapidly growing area and therefore you need police to man the area and stations.” A resident who did not want to be named, also demanded to know, “Where are the police? We don’t see them; that is why we are complaining.”
The brigadier said he would address the problems raised, but the police would prioritise areas with higher crime rates.
“Areas like Nyanga where there are between 10 to 26 murders a weekend will receive more staff,” he said.
Several residents complained that robbery cases weren’t being followed up. “Do I have to keep going to the station to get a report-back or is it the detective’s duty to keep me informed?” asked one.
“As long as there is a docket and a reference number, it is the duty of the policeman to inform you,” Brigadier Mabusha replied.
Warrant Officer Knoetsen urged residents to be vigilant when using their cellphones in public because cellphone-related muggings were rife in the area.