Philippi satellite police station to open after two-year wait

The community is desperate for more policing

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The City of Cape Town has approved the use of Browns Farm community hall as a satellite police station. Photo: Sandiso Phaliso

Residents of Philippi have welcomed news that the City of Cape Town has approved the use of Browns Farm community hall as a satellite police station. They have been waiting for two years, ever since the previous satellite station, located at Philippi train station, was decommissioned after vandalism had left it without electricity.

Residents say the satellite police station is urgently needed. People live in fear in Philippi. Gunshots ring out at all hours. Violent crime, including murders, carjackings, armed robberies, extortion, and home invasions, are rife. This has led to the City having to close clinics and withdraw services at times. Courier services have stopped deliveries to the area.

Asked why it took so long to make the community hall available, City spokesperson Luthando Tyhalibongo said: “The partnership between SAPS and the City is subject to legislation being followed, which includes consultation with stakeholders, agreement on a working relationship and approval from Council.”

“The facility is ready for occupation when SAPS is ready,” he said.

Nyanga Community Policing Forum (CPF) cluster chairperson Martin Makasi said “finalisation of a memorandum of agreement between City of Cape Town and SAPS” was one cause of the delay.

The community hall was also vandalised during the taxi strike in August last year, and the City is busy refurbishing it.

He also said discussions were at an advanced stage to look for land to erect a temporary police station.

Andile Madondile, sector CPF chairperson in Philippi, said SAPS moving into Browns Farm “means a lot to the community” as it was far more accessible than Nyanga police station.

Ward 34 Councillor Melikhaya Gadeni (ANC) said SAPS was taking a long time to move into the hall.

He said SAPS will offer all police services, but detective work will be centralised at Nyanga. City Law Enforcement would report daily to the office, but would continue to operate from their usual base.

SAPS spokesperson Colonel Andrè Traut said an official handing over is scheduled for early next week.

“We will not be dragging our feet to officially open the satellite police station as we are eager to bring policing closer to the Browns Farm community.

He confirmed the station would be an extension of Nyanga SAPS and “will be offering most of the services one can expect to receive in a SAPS Community Service Centre”.

TOPICS:  Crime Policing

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