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08 December 2011 at 17:43 - Posted by Anonymous

More clout for crime watches


Neighbourhood watches battling crime across Cape Town will soon have the back-up of metro police officers, who will go on patrol with the civilian crime-prevention bodies.

And as a further measure to get closer to the communities they serve, metro police will in the new year let residents shadow them as they work.

In addition, Community Police Forums (CPFs) would be allowed to direct where law enforcement officers must operate in their areas.

JP Smith, mayoral committee member for safety and security, outlined some of the directorate’s projects for next year.

In one of the new additions, the CPFs will be able to direct city law enforcement to certain crimes for a minimum of up to an hour a day.

Smith said this would apply to traffic officers and metro police, and would be on top of the routine patrols.

Smith said the city would also launch its job-shadow policy next year. ”One has to start breaking down suspicion and barriers between the public and police.”

A pilot recruitment drive for law enforcement reservist officers will also be launched.

The officers will be drawn from neighbourhood watches. Thirty officers will be included in the pilot project.

There will be two officers per neighbourhood watch.

The officers will patrol with neighbourhood watches, and will wear the same uniforms and have the same weapons as officers. And they will be able to perform searches and seizures.

“Over time they will also get ranks. And it gives the neighbourhood watches some clout.”

Other plans include:

*The Petfinder website is set to go live soon. This is a lost- and-found website for pets.

lTraffic reserve wardens will be introduced specifically to handle films and events.

lThe R250 000 available will be used by the directorate for more research, including on crime patterns.

*The directorate’s efficiency task team will focus on more training of staff, while a task team will also look at the traffic fine collection ratio.

The Provincial CPF Board’s spokesman, Faisal Abrams, said:

“We can now give directives to these forces to the areas that need the most attention so that we can spend the hour constructively.”

*This is the third in a series of interviews with all 11 mayoral committee members in which they highlight important projects in their portfolios. - Cape Argus

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