Community activist urges SAPS partnership

Aggrieved members of the Sector 4 policing forum and concerned residents gathered at the Truro Hall last week to discuss crime that has caused great distress in the northern areas.

At the meeting convened by Pastor Lucky Naicker and chaired by the forum’s chairperson Suniel Beharie, the overall sentiment for those who attended was to create a partnership between community members and SAPS.

In recent weeks Sector 4 community activists responsible for policing and monitoring crime in their area have locked horns with the Mountain Rise police over their methods used to apprehend suspects. This has led to Sector 4 chairperson Suniel Beharie facing several charges of attempted murder and grievous bodily harm. He is currently out on bail and due to appear in court again on October 27.

To add to the divide, the forum received notification this week from the Mountain Rise police that the forum was disbanded. With news of the disbandment, the forum mapped out a plan to create a sub-forum of the existing Community Policing Forum, that will be commissioned at the next CPF meeting at the Mountain Rise Police Station.

“SAPS needs to come on board with the community and go back to policing,” said Ward 31 councillor Rooksana Ahmed.

Other plans agreed upon by the forum is to deliver a petition to the KZN legislature.  The list of demands featured on the petition, will be for visible policing in the Raisethorpe CBD, with foot patrols, satellite policing station and the dispatching for police vehicles.

Beharie said the main aim for the forum’s plan of action was to make the SAPS know that, as a community, they were unhappy with law enforcement.

“We as a community need to stand up, and make them aware that we are unsatisfied and do not feel safe,” he emphasised.

SAPS spokesperson Captain Gay Ebrahim said that although SAPS appreciate community members taking the initiative to keep the community safe, correct law procedures always need to be implemented when apprehending suspects.

She added that currently police are in talks with the policing forum group and welcome working together to eradicate crime.

“We have been in communication with the community group and mapping a way forward to successfully apprehend criminals and keep the community safe.”

Bongeka Sibisi

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