Night patrols started in Masiphumelele
Many residents believe it will reduce crime
Following the death of a 17-year-old high school student stabbed by another student in a gang fight two weeks ago, Masiphumelele residents have started patrols.
After many community meetings to try and resolve crime and put an end to youth gangs, it was decided to reintroduce patrolling.
Masiphumelele does not have its own police station and depends on the one in Ocean View. It therefore also does not have a community policing forum. There is only a mobile police station, received late last year after protests for better policing.
Community leader Tshepo Moletsana believes patrols make for a safer community. Volunteers start patrols at 10pm.
Moletsana said meetings were held with business owners. “We have asked them to provide us with their licences so that we can see what time they are supposed to open and close.”
Those without trading licences will have to close at a time agreed with the residents.
Moletsana said police would be involved if businesses resisted, “because we do not want to have any type of violence in the patrols”.
There has previously been violent vigilantism in Masiphumelele.
Resident Mlungiseleli Nyengane, who is a patrol volunteer, said patrols have made a big difference in the community even after a short time.
“We have had no stabings, and also the people that go to work in the early hours of the morning are safer now with the patrols. Many residents are happy with it and only a few are against it, and they are the ones who want to spend the whole night at the taverns,” said Nyengane.
He said equipment was needed. “If we would, for example, have bibs with community patrols written on them and torches, it would be better for us as well,” said Nyengane.
Spokesperson for the Western Cape South Africa Police Service Lieutenant Colonel Andrè Traut confirmed that police are working with the community. He said they are in the process of forming a sub-community policing forum in Masiphumelele.
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