CLOSE to 50 housebreakings in September – of which the majority were in Top Town – have sparked calls by the Komani police and the Community Policing Forum (CPF) for communities to become involved in the formation of crime sector forums.
Komani station commissioner colonel Mzoli Kopolo, speaking at a Sector two meeting on Tuesday evening, said it was time for people to start working with the police to prevent crime via sector forums.
Such forums included individuals resident in a certain area, who liaised with the CPF when becoming aware of any crimes or suspicious activity in an area. The CPF then would take the matter up with the police.
“Last month we had a lot of break-ins into businesses and residences. We need to be vigilant. I have been around Komani for 18 years and I know this area very well. Crime affects all of us, rich, poor, black and white – even I was affected three or four times. The way to beat crime is to come together with the communities so they feed us with information.”
He said statistics were unfortunately not always a true reflection of crime in an area.
“There are owners who have insurance and they open a case just to claim from insurance companies, but when we go to investigate, we find that no crime has taken place. People lie about cellphones and laptops mostly. We have people, who will say they have been robbed and then we find out that they want to claim so as to buy a new one.”
He said the police did not know, at the time of opening a case, if someone was lying and therefore such cases were included in the statistics.
“We need continuous communication because without it people end up having no understanding of how things work.”
He encouraged residents to report police members, who were not doing their jobs.
“We do have internal challenges. The communities must also call 10111 as some numbers will not give you the response you wanted because we [(the police] work as different units. The person, who assists you must introduce themselves so you can report them if you are not happy with their response. Take down the time so we can search and find out who assisted you if they do not want to give you their name. If you see a vehicle being misused, take a picture and bring it to us.”
CPF chairman Andries Schlebusch said the establishment of the sector forums was an immediate need.
“We need these in the various areas. People come in once a month and have a meeting and then we follow up on those issues. We are the eyes and ears of the police. We do have some success stories as we have been working closely with the police and other stake holders in town.”