GEORGE NEWS - Although many George residents are aware of the community police forum (CPF) and the work they voluntarily do behind the scenes, many others are unaware of what exactly the CPF is and what they do.
According to George CPF chairman, Charles Newham, the CPF is a non-political organisation consisting of volunteer community members and police representatives who work hand-in-hand to address service and safety-related problems within the community.
Value of the CPF
Newham says George remains one of the safest towns in South Africa. "In South Africa this is no mean feat, looking at the crime rates within the rest of the country. The contributing factor to this is the passion and dedication shown by our voluntary CPF members, sector police forum (SPF), affiliated neighbourhood watches and the police," he said.
To ensure the survival and improvement of these services, the CPF needs assistance from the community in the form of complaints and suggestions. "At present the CPF is actively involved in several community-based projects including assistance to schools with challenged learners, people with alcohol and drug abuse problems, assisting with victim empowerment programmes, the protection and needs of the elderly, opposing parole applications for violent offenders, and attending to various road traffic and municipal by-law-related matters. Unfortunately crime will increase due to the influx of people into George unless we keep control of the systems, expand and improve on membership and thus involvement from within the community," says Newham.
Objectives of the CPF
- To bring policing services closer to the local community.
- To enhance interaction between the community and the police.
- To establish partnerships with the community.
- To work in close cooperation with the local community.
- To enable the police to understand local problems by identifying and addressing the underlying causes.
- To deliver a quality service with the support and approval of the local community.
- To improve trust and confidence in the police.
Membership can range from an individual person to a business entity, including NGOs, all of whom, as members, contribute to the success of the CPF. This is done by members giving information, requests, complaints and suggestions to the CPF.
The next CPF meeting will be held on 27 March at the George Civic Centre at 18:00. Everyone is invited to attend and use the opportunity to meet their representatives and have their say.
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