Midrand’s third force: the Community Policing Forum

Security personnel in Midrand inspect cuts in the fence.

 

As the economy declines and the crime rate escalates, more and more we hear pundits saying the community must be responsible for their own safety, but what in reality does that mean?

Communities look to the police, the Metro police and private security companies to keep them safe, but here is an introduction to Midrand’s third force – a dedicated group of community-minded men and women who have answered the call to action of keeping Midrand safe.

Tanya Nyce, the Midrand Community Policing Forum (CPF) public relations officer said, “Our greatest strength in the fight against crime is each other. Criminals will struggle to operate when dealing with tight-knit communities so it is vital to all of us to maintain a strong relationship with all the partners and roleplayers in our precinct.”

In each sector of Midrand, there is a team of committee members and patrollers who have started local networks that are vital in the fight against crime.

The starting point has been the establishment of WhatsApp groups that have been used extremely effectively in having entire communities as eyes and ears for the police and other law enforcement agencies.

The Sector 4 team are ready for their stop-and-search operation in Midrand in a bid to fight crime in the area.

As soon as an incident occurs, fingers are typing and voice notes are being exchanged as this critical information is widely broadcast, enabling the police, the security companies and the community patrollers to respond.

In this way, criminals have been caught and apprehended. Not only are these groups effective in this manner but they also give communities a sense of ownership and belonging in the areas where one lives and works – the start of building the communities that have somehow been lost in our ever-changing world.

WATCH: Attempted hijacking in Midrand

The same team of dedicated men and women have built strong, lasting relationships with the security companies which operate in the various sectors as well as with the police, working together as responsive teams thereby multiplying the manpower that is available to respond to incidents.

Regular patrols are undertaken in the sectors, with the joint teams of community members and security personnel driving around, with the police on standby should an incident arise.

Steven Johnstone, the chairperson of the Midrand CPF, said, “We are in a fortunate position in Midrand. We have a strong CPF and a police force that sees the value in partnerships. Add to that [Metro police], security companies and committed community members and we have a winning combination.

Security personnel in Midrand get ready for a night operation.

“I encourage community members to cooperate with the team and make an appeal to residents and businesses in Midrand. If you are not already involved, find out how you can join in the fight against crime.”

Some of the sectors have also implemented Domestic Watch programmes.

The CPF, police and security companies that assist in implementing the Domestic Watch programmes in the area believe there is a growing need for residents to understand that the domestic watch is a powerful part of the community network.

These are the folk that are in our homes during the day while we are at work and it is vital that they know what to do in the event that they are confronted by the criminal element while we are not there.

According to incident reports by the victims, there are many incidents where suspects posing as telephone, electricity or other service providers persuade the domestic or garden staff that they have to come to inspect or fix a problem and no sooner than they gain entry, the staff have been bound or injured and the contents of the house are taken.

Another vital pillar of community policing is passing on information that will enable the police to apprehend criminals. If all eyes and ears are open – the criminal element will not be able to operate in secret or impunity.

Members of the Midrand Sector 2 team.

Midrand police, under specific terms and conditions and confidentiality, is offering additional incentives via cash rewards for information leading to the arrest and conviction of anyone involved in criminal activities.

Renato Ramos, ops director of a Midrand security company said, “Tactical Guarding and TRSS Reaction works hand in hand with all Midrand CPF sectors in checking suspicious vehicles and persons.

“The CPF is the critical component in the security system as they have more eyes and ears out there. It is vitally important to understand current trends and patterns to ensure that you are always one step ahead of the criminal element.”

The last pillar in the structure is the joint operations where all the role players come together – the police, Metro police, the security companies, the CPF and the community patrollers – a force multiplying team who work together to fight against crime.

One can only encourage residents to join in the fight. Join your local WhatsApp groups, contact your Sector crime forum team to set up a domestic watch in your area, attend meetings that are set up to discuss the safety and security where you live and work, join your patrol teams in your area – an hour or two of your time can make a huge difference. The CPF and sector crime forums encourage residents to get to know your sector crime forum team, your sector manager and your neighbours.

Know which vehicles belong in your area, know when you have strangers in your neighbourhood, know when anything around you is not the normal pattern of daily life in your area, and pass the information on to your sector crime forum team.

Should you wish to join the fight against crime, contact the following people in your sector and find out how you can contribute:

  • Sector 1 – Bruce Beevers 082 883 4527 Miguel Assis 082 496 4116.
  • Sector 2 – Anil Singh 083 662 2307 Jacqui van Loggenburg 082 387 1150.
  • Sector 3 – Mokete Makubakube 083 226 3367 Tanya Nyce 082 652 1040.
  • Sector 4 – Sector 4 Hotline 060 818 3549 ([email protected]), escalations Chris Furnell 071 874 9359.

 

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  AUTHOR
Al Karaki

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