South Africa

What is a CPF?

A sign at the entrance to the Randburg Police Station with Randburg police sector numbers and contact details. Photo: Nicholas Zaal

If you have been a resident in a neighbourhood for some time, you may have heard the words ‘Community Policing Forum’ thrown around at community gatherings or on your local neighbourhood WhatsApp group.

If you don’t belong to one, you may wonder what a CPF’s purpose is and if they are effective in the fight against crime.

Interim chairperson of Randburg CPF Sector 1 Kerry Wetton provided Randburg Sun with a statement to enlighten the community about the work that a CPF does.

She said, “Community Policing Forums act as a direct link between the South African Police Services and the communities they serve. Together they play a vital role in preventing crime.

“These forums are a legislated initiative giving civilian oversight into a state function. They are also an effective way to promote accountability between the police service and the communities it serves.”

The general objectives of these forums are to assist the police by:

Wetton added, “The main aim is to prevent crime and everyone can play a role. This includes the police sector commander for the area, community leaders and individuals.

“The Randburg police precinct is divided into three smaller manageable areas. Each sector has a responsible SAPS commander who is familiar with the area, its problems and its unique security requirements and challenges.

“Each sector has its own CPF committee which is the direct link between the community and SAPS.”

Wetton said this cooperation enables targeted visible police patrols, rapid responses to complaints, ways to address crime generators, and investigations into reported cases.

“In this way each community is supported by a localised police service meeting their specific needs.”

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