Police need to serve communities

The importance of police protection availed to members of the public as well as continued interaction by law enforcement agencies with communities remain crucial in building community confidence and trust and ensuring the existence of good relations between residents and the South African Police Service (SAPS).

The formation of active community policing forums (CPFs) therefore will also lead to growing people’s trust in these officials who are entrusted with the day and night safety of members of the public .

CPFs are usually structures established to ensure public participation in policing and generally fighting crime where members of the public are involved in assisting police in their daily duties like helping the police to identify criminals and or criminal activities in communities.

The outcry by residents of Kgomotso Village in Taung who last week protested against what they referred to as poor police services in their village and neighbouring areas is a typical example of lack of trust and poor relations between the police and communities.

Community members argued that due to the poor and unprofessional services they received from the local police, they had lost trust in them which they said led to dissatisfaction in the general public.

They claimed that were reluctant to pursue criminals, that the police were also reluctant to follow-up stock theft cases, that police connived with criminals and police did not work with communities to defeat crime in the area.

They pleaded with community safety and transport management MEC and police commissioner, Lieutenant General Baile to intervene in their struggle with the local police.

The two officials promised “not to sweep the concerns and challenges under the carpet” but would address them urgently.