The Linden Community Policing Forum relies on a group of dedicated volunteers, among them victim support members and trauma counsellors, in its mission to help the police and security companies combat crime in the suburb.
IF there’s something strange in your neighbourhood, who you gonna call, go the lyrics of an old song. For many, the resounding answer is “ghostbusters”. For residents of Linden, though, the answer is the Linden Community Policing Forum (CPF).
Response time is excellentRapid response vehicles are always on standbyThis is because the organisation believes in being proactive to reduce the crime rate in their area, and this approach is enabling them to tackle and eliminate crime head-on.
The CPF has spearheaded a variety of projects within the past year that has made the suburb a safer place to live and work. For instance, in December 2010, the CPF together with the South African Police Service (SAPS), security companies and members of the community, carried out a 72-hour patrol campaign of streets, shopping centres and public open spaces.
“The joint operation resulted in many arrests and increased visibility in the sector,” said metro liaison on the executive committee of the CPF, Jenny Jooste, on the forum’s website.
Other important schemes are the drug and alcohol abuse campaign and the youth desk, which work hand-in-hand. The forum has held awareness sessions and the youth desk has given presentations to schools in Linden, Randburg and Honeydew. Recovering addicts volunteer their services to discourage others from taking the same path.
Victim support volunteers also play a major role in the CPF’s activities, and their function is becoming more important every year. The support team aids victims of armed robbery, rape, suicide, murder, drowning and abductions, and in 2010 responded to about 120 incidents, compared to 105 the year before.
“As of 6 May , we have 21 victim support volunteers who provide early on-site support and a further eight counsellors who provide trauma counselling,” said the CPF chairperson, Jadd Harding, in his report at the 2010 annual general meeting.
“We recognise the extraordinary dedication of this group under the leadership of Keith Russel and Carl Schlotfeldt. You and the team often go beyond what is expected, spending hours at all times of the day and night, with victims.”
The CPF uses its links with community associations, independent street committees, schools, businesses and religious organisations to engage with and encourage resident participation. This helps the forum achieve its overall goal of eradicating lawlessness, as everyone is working with each other towards a common purpose.
Bobby on the beat
This year, this includes reducing the number of vagrants, loiterers and homeless people in the precinct in a humane manner; patrolling the streets either through community patrols or “bobby on the beat” initiatives to relieve the pressure on limited police resources; collaboration between the SAPS and security companies; instituting more street committees and community associations, as well as supporting those that already exist; working with the courts to increase the number of convictions; establishing a process and system for reporting incidents; and providing support as well as assisting with general upgrades at the police station.
To help realise its targets, the CPF holds a weekly extended crime combating forum. At these gatherings, community and security role players meet to discuss incidents, trends and methods of criminals in their areas. It has grown from 10 attendees in 2004 to more than 30 at the end of 2010.
The CPF cannot achieve its aims without the assistance of willing residents, though, and from time to time it needs donations. At present, it is in need of help to buy cellphone contracts and to pay for repairs to patrol vehicles. For information on making contributions, people can contact Jadd Harding on 083 212 0155 or firstname.lastname@example.org. They can also visit the Linden CPF website for more information.
Important numbers to remember in Linden are:
Flying Squad – 10111
Linden Police Station – 011 888 9211/2/3
Sector 1 – 071 675 6044
Sector 2 – 071 675 6047
Sector 3 – 071 675 6049
Sector 4 – 071 675 6050
Ambulance and fire – 011 375 5911
Linden victim support – 073 447 4451
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