FEEDBACK FROM THE SPECIAL MEETING HELD ON THE 13TH OF MARCH 2013 AT THE O’CONNOR HALL
A meeting was called on the 13th of March by a group of concerned citizens worried about crime in Henley and surrounds. Several members if the SAPS Meyerton (Col. Shikwambana (SAPS Station Commander); Lt Col. Lidia Landingwe (Operational Commander) attended, as well as John Pocock, Henley Watch Chairman and Lynda Parsonson (Ward 4 Councilor).
Although several comments and complaints were raised in respects of the crime in Henley, the police and the Henley watch are in agreement that the responsibility of fighting crime in Henley will by and large remain with the Henley residents themselves. The SAPS have two vehicles patrolling Henley and surrounds, one of which is dedicated to rural patrolling, and the Meyerton SAPS patrol an area of 270 square kilometers.
Several complaints in respects of the service delivery of the Meyerton SAPS were raised from the floor, amongst which were phone calls made to the police station that were not answered. It was suggested that residents rather contact police via the 10111 number, which is recorded and the response measured.
At present the Henley Watch has 390 active households, and although most of the break-ins during the past few months have been by non – members who did not participate in the Watch, it was expected by Henley residents that this 30 % keeps the entire 100% safe - without any contribution by the remaining residents. This is not feasible, nor is it realistic to ask the same people to keep doing extra shifts over and over again.
Several other suggestions came from the floor, amongst others to install a buddy system to keep an eye on the old and infirm with radios linking home to home, or via cell phones. Cable theft has also increased in Henley, with Telkom saying that they will not be replacing stolen cables in a number of cases, however a member noted that one can apply for radio phones at Telkom.
The crux of the meeting is that the SAPS feel that Henley residents should be more responsible for their own safety, either via the Watch or in their individual capacity as police resources are spread thinly throughout the Midvaal area. The increase in crime will continue and worsen unless the community stands together and take responsibility for their families and loved ones safety.
To read the minutes of the meeting, click here.