The Hammanskraal Community Police Forum (HCPF) being established by legislation has a key role to play in shaping effective police service delivery in specific areas. In addition, it is a means to have resources allocated to the correct areas and to the most pressing “crime” priorities.
Let’s quickly consider the following: the pay for those involved in CPF work is a super fantastic NIL Rand per month! The thirteenth cheque comprises the use your own resources, often to your own family’s detriment.
Performance bonus: your time is actually never your own. (24/7 365 day a year, i.e. no holiday!)
Add to this a bouquet of community members sitting on the fence and not being involved, frequent insults by others, criticism (often severe), back-stabbing, complaints & demands, community members breaking the law, gossip, the dangers involved when opposing criminal elements, own agendas of officials and community members and corrupt SAPS members, yes, it’s an unbelievable opportunity to serve, never to be repeated.
However, the possible saving of a life, and prevention of further hardship through involvement, are the fuel that keep many volunteers in the various CPF structures going year in and year out! Remember: it is a voluntarily service, by ordinary community members, caring for others and their loved ones.
The CPF structure must be outside politics, beliefs, church, race, whether we are employed or not and all the other stereotypes we can think of out there.
The Community Policing Forum has a rather unique area of responsibility. The mix between urban and rural areas poses its own challenges and different strategies in order to address the safety needs of the community. The square kilometres are vast, 600 square kms plus. In some areas we have mainly farms and plots owned, yes you guessed right, by mostly Afrikaans speaking White people versus the densely populated areas in Hammanskraal including informal settlements occupied by mostly Black Africans. Both bring its own blend of safety and social issues and it is ridiculous to suggest that all should sit round the same table planning for our safety or so one would like to think. However considering the objectives of the HCPF as contained in our constitution which states: “In order to perform the functions effectively and efficiently the HCPF has the following overarching objectives:
a. That the community and its property be safe and secure; and b. That the welfare of vulnerable members of the community be supported and protected.”
One can’t help but to wonder whether the aspirations of the various groups are that different? I believe everybody in the community has a need for the same levels of safety, security, support and protection. You must agree with me? Not convinced?
Let’s examine the HCPF’s functions or “ways” of achieving the objectives. These are:
a. To establish, promote and maintain a public participation and private partnership between the community and SAPS;
b. To promote effective communication between the SAPS and the community as well as the community amongst themselves;
c. To promote cooperation between the SAPS and the community in fulfilling the needs of the community regarding policing priorities;
d. To improve transparency in the SAPS and accountability of the SAPS to the community and report on findings;
e. To ensure joint problem identification and resolution by the SAPS and the community;
f. To support and develop projects which will improve the rendering of policing services to the community at sub-forum level;
g. To draft an annual POA for the HCPF in conjunction with the SAPS and the respective sub-forums and organising committees;
h. To actively canvas financial support from corporates and other sources in order to conduct the affairs of the HCPF;
i. To monitor and request reports on the activities of Sub-Forums and ensure the sharing of good practises;
j. To support and coordinate the implementation of the programmes of the sub-forums and ensure these are in line with the POA and Community Safety Plans;
k. To consult with, and advise the Station Commissioner with regards to all matters pertaining to community policing and facilitate the resolution of concerns, problems and complaints from Sub-Forums;
l. To submit quarterly review reports to the GPCPB and DCS on the activities and challenges within the HCPF;
m. To conduct the affairs of the HCPF in an administratively and financially accountable and transparent manner withstanding scrutiny; and
n. To function within the requirements of the principle Act, Interim Regulations and any other regulatory framework mentioned in this constitution.
Do you think the HCPF’s functions or “ways” of achieving the objectives are different between the urban and rural areas? I would like to propose there is no difference.
The differences should however be noticeable in the following areas:
1. The resource allocation; and
2. The strategies implemented to achieve the objectives should be uniquely specific to an area.
Structure of the HCPF
A typical structure is reflected below. A CPF would cover the same geographical area as the Police station under which it resorts. In our instance the boundaries of SAPS Hammanskraal would also be the boundaries of the HCPF. The HCPF would be managed by an Executive Committee elected for that purpose at a General Meeting called for that purpose. The actions of the EXCO are determined by a Constitution. In order to make the geographical area more manageable it is broken-down into sectors. This process is managed between the SAPS management and the HCPF EXCO. Each Sector would have an EXCO. The HCPF has four main sectors, namely Sectors 1, 2, 3, and 4. Due to the large area being covered and the fact that part of it is urban and part rural, sector 4 was broken down into two, 4a and 4b. For each sector the SAPS appoints a Sector Manager responsible for the liaison between the SAPS and the community and compiling inter alia the sector profiles. Key to the success of the CPF is the level of cooperation and trust generated at this level.
Below is a typical sector structure
Stakeholders are interested parties in our community. Let me give some examples:
· Local Ward Councillor(s);
· Civic organisation representatives;
· Organisations representing Taxi and bus operators;
· Church leadership;
· School principals/chairpersons of governing bodies, where applicable;
· Business leadership;
· Security companies operating in the area; and
· Welfare Institutions that have offices in the area.
All of these bodies have an interest and a contribution to make in the guiding and monitoring role of the CPF in partnership with the SAPS to ensure we and our loved ones are safe and secure and that the welfare of vulnerable members of our community is respected and protected. They do not have decision-making powers at meetings.
Their inputs would assist the CPF and the SAPS to come up with strategies and they would play a key role in the implementation on ground level.
For example: how could the CPF ever have a campaign against child drug abuse without involving the schools?
There are often uncertainty regarding the difference between stakeholders and role-players. Let’s think of some examples of role-players:
· The Community;
· The Gauteng Provincial Community Police Board;
· The SAPS Provincial Commissioner;
· The Department of Community Safety;
· The Themba Cluster Board;
· The Themba Cluster Commander;
· The SAPS Hammanskraal;
· The National Prosecuting Authority;
· The Department of Justice;
· The Metro Police; and
· Various provincial departments (Social Services, Health, Education, etc.)
For me the main difference is that these bodies or institutions are all charged with a legislative responsibility to assist the CPF with their mandate. They have a role to play.
As the Hammanskraal Community Police Forum community we must play a guiding and monitoring role in partnership with the SAPS to ensure we and our loved ones are safe and secure and that the welfare of vulnerable members of our community is respected and protected.
This can only be achieved by having as many of the following people involved:
· You as member of the community;
· Relevant stakeholders; and
These groups together with a large dose of respect and tolerance would be able to deliver on our legislative mandate!
In an effort to improve communication and transparency most documents find its way to this community page.
If you want to contribute please feel free to contact us.
Chairman: Community Policing Forum
Cell: 083 334 9945
Fax: 086 763 4154
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