Policing staff shortages are hampering the fight against crime in Mowbray, says the suburb’s community police forum chairman.
Jonathan Hobday, chairman of the Mowbray Community Police Forum (MCPF), told the organisation’s annual general meeting, at St George’s Grammar School on Tuesday November 8, that it had been a tough year for police in the area.
“The operations of sector policing have been curtailed, reaction times are slower and management fluency has been disrupted,” he said.
“The task of the Mowbray SAPS has further been complicated by the difficulties emanating from the unrest at UCT. Our friends at Mowbray police operate in extremely difficult circumstances.”
Mr Hobday praised station commander Lieutenant- Colonel Mayla Dyers and her team for their tireless crime-fighting efforts.
“Our community is fortunate to have one of the lowest crime rates in the region,” he said.
He called for more reservists and said the SAPS had allowed the reservist corps to “degenerate” over the years to”a level of virtual dysfunction.”
The establishment of the special ratings area (SRA) and the Little Mowbray and Rosebank Improvement District (LMRID) in July had, however, made a difference in the area.
“Effective security operations began in mid-September. Early observations seem to indicate that enhanced patrolling of the Little Mowbray and Rosebank areas is making a difference – as happened with the introduction of the Groote Schuur Community Improvement District (GSCID) in the Main Road three years ago.”
The Sybrand Park and Little Mowbrayneighbourhood watches had also made a huge impact in fighting crime in the precinct.
“While working closely with the Mowbray SAPS, these neighbourhood watches have helped to enhance sector patrolling and sharpen public vigilance,” he said.
Mr Hobday welcomed the election of Paddy Chapple as the new Ward 57 councillor and thanked security firms and “public spirited” residents.
“We hope, for the introduction of a better network of cameras, greater use of radio networks and some improved City police services – like the neighbourhood safety officers,” he said.