Cape Town - The Bishop Lavis Community Police Forum (CPF) has strongly criticised the area’s police station and the Bonteheuwel Community Service Centre over its poor service delivery.
The CPF said there had been constant complaints from residents who were told they cannot open cases if they don’t know the perpetrator.
Residents were also made to wait for more than an hour when shifts changed and had to endure rude police officers.
There had also been complaints of clients being sent from Bonteheuwel satellite station to Bishop Lavis police station and closure of cases rendered as undetected without any investigation, the CPF said.
Chairperson Graham Lindhorst urged residents to insist on good service delivery from the police. Lindhorst said no person should be prevented from or refused access to open any case.
“As the CPF, we expect every person that enters the Community Service Centre and calls on service from the SAPS to be treated with respect and dignity. We further do not expect police officers to act as a magistrate and decide the merits or not of a case, deciding who can make cases or not.
“We see no reason for any client coming for certification or affidavits to have to wait more than half an hour to get served. Residents of Bonteheuwel must also take note that the Satellite Station renders most of the services rendered by SAPS Lavis 24 hours every day and that there is no need for any client to be redirected to SAPS Lavis,” said Lindhorst.
Lindhorst called on the community to report poor service by both police stations to the station commanders. Alternately, he said residents can lay complaints by making a written statement outlining the poor service.
Bonteheuwel Ward councillor Angus McKenzie said police in the area had serious service issues which come from poor management. McKenzie said poor levels of services from Bishop Lavis Police station have been an ongoing problem for more than five years and nothing has been done about it.
“The Bonteheuwel Community Service Centre is a prime example of how bad services are. It is closed at night with a skeleton staff and no holding cell capacity and cannot do anything other than certify documents, which is a problem.
“We have been calling for a police station in Bonteheuwel for a long time and the CPF should have taken up the fight with us five years ago. While we welcome the CPF’s action of calling out the SAPS, we are concerned about the timing of its action.
“The CPF should hold the police accountable consistently to ensure we get the best level of service for the community,” said McKenzie.
Police spokesperson FC van Wyk said the matter has been discussed with CPF Band and is currently still being addressed between Bishop Lavis Station and CPF.
"All clients of Bishop Lavis precinct are encouraged to report inappropriate behaviour or unsatisfactory service delivery to Bishop Lavis SAPS management.