CPSF – Community Policing Sub Forum
Each police station should have a Community Policing Sub Forum that functions essentially as the link between the Police and the Community in your area. While most CPSFs function on small committee and might not need new committee members this is a good place to start finding out how you can help in your committee. CPSFs need help all the time – in one way or another. Depending on how much time and energy you have to assist there will be a way for you to get involved and make a difference to safety in your area.
Contact your local CPSF through your police station (or find their direct contact details on the CPSF Partnership website) and find out from them what their needs are and what the specific needs of your police station are. There are roles for help as often as once a week for a week hours, or as easy as baking a cake for the police once a year, or offering some advice in a field of your expertise.
Most CPSFs raise funds from their communities to support the police and the community and if you don’t have time or expertise to offer you can always make a monthly or a once off donation to your CPSF. (A good CPSF will make its financial statements available to the community at the annual AGM)
The scope for areas where you can get involved at the police station are not limited to the CPSF meetings and you should enquire from them what other affiliated structures are linked to your CPSF such as a Victim Support Centre/ or Trauma Counselling, a Youth Desk for younger members who want to get involved in safety programs for youths in their area, some stations have a wider forum or Community Safety Sub Forum that looks at other broader safety and security issues.
CPSF Sub Structures
Linking in to the CPSF are several regional sub structures and this is where most people should be able to get involved.
Depending on what structures are in your neighbourhood you could join one of the following bodies. Your CPSF should be able to tell you who to contact in your more immediate area to get involved.
Sector Crime Forum
Each Police station is divided into Sectors – this is a smaller sub section of the policing precinct and is often along suburb border lines. This is where concerns from the community can be raised to be submitted to the CPSF or to the Sector Manager within SAPS
Where areas have an active Residence Association they often have a Safety Sub Committee – this committee has similar functions to the Sector Crime Forum but may also include some wider issues around security companies and other safety concerns
Block / Neighbourhood / Street Committees
Several committees have well established neighbourhood watches that are run by members of the community. The information gathered from these watches is vital for the police and the CPSF to understand the needs in these communities. See information about the Buddy System.
Street patrols are a newer initiative and function mostly in areas where there are not private security companies already in place. The patrols are made up of volunteer residents from the community and would be similar to block watches, except that they patrol for full shifts.
In Depth Look:
For more information please listen to this recorded radio interview with JC van Niekerk.
JC Radio Interview