NORTHERN CAPE – The Acting Provincial Commissioner Major General Joey Kers, Acting DPC Brigadier Janse van Rensberg, Provincial Head for Vispol Brig Brink, Acting District Commander Brig Charlotte Makgari, Galeshewe Station Commander Brig Belinda Rikhotso, Deputy Director Mr Manamela for Community Safety Dept of Safety and Liaison, Francis Baard CPF Chairperson Mr Themba Gomba and station commanders in the district launched the Community in Blue at Kimberley Police station.

In delivering a message of support Mr Gomba emphasized that Community in blue are not substituting the role of the police but their role is to assist the police by being their eyes and ears on the ground. Mr Gomba called on CPF members to at all times work with the police and refrain frombeating up suspects. He pledged to serve the community with respect and support victims of crime and also support the SAPS in the fight against crime. Mr Gomba said that there’s a tendency by community members who think that working with the police gives them authority to do as they please and request members of the Community in blue to refrain from searching and stopping vehicles as they do not have the authority to do so.

The representative for Community Safety at Safety and Liaison Mr Manamela welcomed the launch of Community in Blue and said the launch came at a time when the police need them more. He said that the launch came at the time when the country is gripped by the upsurge of Gender based Violence and the mushrooming of vigilante groups in Francis Baard, Tsantsabane, Siyancuma and Namakwa. Manamela emphasized that Community in blue is a regulated structure under the auspices of the CPF.

Mr Manamela adviced the community in blue members to at all times work under the guidance and command of the police and not operate alone. He discouraged members to act like a vigilante group and assault and terrorise community members in the name of the CPF. He emphasized that Community in blue is a substructure of the CPF and therefore do not operate autonomously from the mother body is which the CPF.

The Acting Provincial Commissioner Major General Kers in delivering the keynote address welcomed the launch of the Community in Blue and said that they are a necessary force multiplier as they are the eyes and ears of police. General Kers said that members of the Community in Blue are community volunteers affiliated with the CPF and in partnership with the police and are therefore expected to act professionally when executing their patrol duties.

General Kers said that no crime can be solved without information and most of the information comes from communities as criminals come from communities and are our own brothers, sisters and uncles.

Major General Kers called on members of the Community in blue to exercise a high level of discipline in executing their duties, act professionally, be honest, transparent and dedicated.

General Kers took the opportunity to call on police officers to take care of state resources as the state does not have an endless supply of resources.

The session was closed by Brig Brink who wished all members of the CPF and Community in blue well and said that the fight against crime needs the commitment of all of us as police and the community.

Source: South African Police Service