With 29 years experience in the police force, Mowbray’s new station commander plans to use his knowledge and skills to reduce crime and foster better partnerships, while improving the overall experience at the station.
Lieutenant Colonel Jayraj Ramesh was officially welcomed to the precinct by the Mowbray Community Police Forum (CPF) last Wednesday, while they said farewell to the former station commander, Lieutenant Colonel Mayla Dyers – who was promoted to Ceres police station. She was at the helm of the police station for nine years.
Lieutenant Colonel Ramesh began his career in Durban and was promoted to Sophia Town police in 2000. In 2013, he moved to the Western Cape and started working at the Claremont police station. He said while he had been a station and vispol commander before, he was a policeman first.
Lieutenant Colonel Ramesh said effective partnerships was vital for the police and he would be working on improving this and getting all neighbourhood watches and organisations on board. He said they would also be working on boosting the morale of the officers and the way the police are viewed, and said the newly appointed vispol commander Captain John Tayler, would be focusing on this.
“It is important for our members to be motivated and in turn they would also give off their best. It is important to create a good first and last impression,” he said.
Captain Tayler has replaced Colonel Devin Matroos, who had been transferred. The captain spent several years in the South African Defence Force before joining the South African Police Services. He had been stationed at Diep River police for the past 20 years, where he spent 14 years as a detective. Captain Tayler said they had already set goals for the current and new financial year.
Lieutenant Colonel Ramesh said they currently only had 70 officers as there had been a few promotions and transfers recently, but said they were managing.
“The area is fairly well managed and our personnel is well placed,” he said.
Speaking on the challenges the police faced, Lieutenant Colonel Ramesh said they would be working on reducing crime such as house breaking, theft and ensuring arrests. He said the students also posed a challenge and planned on meeting with them to help raise awareness and share safety tips.
“Students are often robbed of their cellphones as they do not take note of their surroundings,” he said.
Lieutenant Colonel Ramesh said homelessness was also a big problem for the police, as the homeless often moved through the area from Cape Town to Wynberg.
The station commander said he looked forward to working with the community and said his door would always be open.
Mowbray CPF chairman Jonathan Hobday said the transfer of station commanders had been seamless. He said Lieutenant Colonel Ramesh was approachable, candid but came with a wealth of experience, which they welcomed.
Mr Hobday thanked Lieutenant Colonel Mayla Dyers for her nine years of service, saying she had become a pillar in the community.
“She was very well-known and related to the community. She was always willing to give advice, and while we will miss her, we wish her well on her next chapter,” he said.
Mr Hobday said the CPF would work hard on nourishing and maintaining its partnership with the police.