The Community Policing Forum is an initiative between the public and private sector to decrease crime in the entire Marine Parade precinct. John Aritho, the General Manager (GM) of the Tsogo Sun Garden Court Marine Parade has noted that patrons of the hotel feel much safer and that the percentage of opportunistic crime has drastically decreased. The Community Police are mainly dressed in police uniform, which commands respect and authority as they are fully armed and licensed to arrest people should the need arise but in the same vein are also more “tourist friendly”.
The Tsogo Sun Garden Court Marine Parade, Balmoral, Edward Hotel and others have pooled resources to contribute towards this initiate that has restored order to the area and created an atmosphere of peace of mind. The Community Policing Forum started a year ago but has already made great strides in ensuring the safety of the public by significantly reducing crime. His initiative has piggy-backed on the Suncoast Casino and Hotel model which proved to be very successful.
Golf carts with SAPS branding has also been made available for this precinct to allow for ease of movement for elderly patrons, etc. Free standing booths that were previously used for the 2010 Soccer World Cup have been refurbished bearing the SAPS logo and have been erected along key areas along the Marine Parade and soon these booths will be equipped with cameras for 24 hour surveillance.
This is an extensive project that has given previously unemployed police reservist a job, they receive a monthly stipend to cover travelling and other expenses. Visible policing is a major deterrent for crime. The vision is to have the entire Beach Front area buying into this concept with the goal of eradicating crime in the area. The CPF calls on the community and key stakeholders to form partnerships to increase the effectiveness of this campaign. Let’s make Durban a safer, more liveable city for all.