Community Safety supports SAPS at Lavender Hill Community Imbizo
The Department of Community Safety was invited by the South African Police Service to exhibit at the Community Imbizo that took place on Friday, 25 May 2018, at Steenberg’s Battlefield Sports Ground in Lavender Hill, where Western Cape Provincial Commissioner, Lieutenant General KE Jula, on behalf of the Minister of Police, Mr B Cele, addressed communities affected by gang related violence.
Over 2 000 community members, from Lavender Hill and surrounding areas, congregated at the sports ground to witness the several addresses issued by official members from SAPS and stakeholders with the common objective of promoting safety and speaking up and out against gangsterism. The Imbizo followed a stakeholder engagement in which community leaders, organisations, religious leaders and stakeholders from various station areas were in attendance. Some of these stakeholders included 269 police officers from the tactical, crime intelligence, national intervention, and the public order policing units.
The gathering encouraged interaction in which members of communities ravaged by gang violence had the opportunity to advise on how members of SAPS can best go about bringing criminals to book in these areas. General Jula spoke on the importance of the evolution of mechanisms that the stakeholders implements in attempts to keep criminality on check and how community members ought to be just as involved in the process; “It requires more hands on deck, there have been interventions, the last engagement was in 2016. We have to change certain ways in which we do things. In the past the issues and concerns were raised about level of police but this time around we have to change approach and that is why we are coming to communities to ask for ideas and how to move forward. We would appreciate some input from the community on ways to curb gangsterism, turn the situation around and bring peace to the streets,” said Lieutenant General Jula.
Minister for Community Safety, Dan Plato called for members of the community to remain prudent in reclaiming their space from the hands of gang affiliates; “Use this opportunity to take back our streets from gangsters and to restructure our community so as to be in charge of it once more.” MEC Plato also urged community leaders and religious leaders to back up active community members in taking a stand against gang-related activity in their respective areas in the bid to ensure improved safety for all, BETTER TOGETHER.