‘Make peace’ with staff shortage

Chronic staff shortages at Parow police station will not change in the near future and residents will have to make peace with it, says the station’s acting head of visible policing.

At the bi-monthly Parow Community Police Forum (CPF) meeting last week, Captain Samuel Williams told residents that “what we see in Parow, is what we’ll have until the end of the year”.

He said he had attended a meeting with provincial police management where questions were asked about when Parow would get more staff, but no answer had been forthcoming.

“With the little people we have, we are being judged the same as stations with 500 people,” he said.

The issue of staff shortages has been raised before (“Parow safety compromised,” Northern News, February 22).

Captain Williams said they hoped to get new officers in December once new police recruits had completed their training.

“We now have to wait until the students finish at college. And we’ll see if we’re going to see light at the end of the tunnel,” he said.

CPF chairman Roger Cannon, who earlier this year wrote a letter to Tygerberg Cluster commander General Thembikile Patekile to ask when Parow police would get staff, said there were staff shortages at stations “all over” and there was “an acknowledgement that there is a problem”.

Captain Williams said despite the lack of staff, Parow had stayed within target for the quarter from April to June and only house robberies were a problem.

He said there were three armed men who “ravaged” Panorama, often gaining access when residents were home. He warned residents not to confront the men.

“If you know you cannot fight, sleep on. It saves you from injury, it saves lives,” he said.

At the same meeting, Parow Valley Neighbourhood Watch chairman Joe Malie complained to Superintendent Shaun Phillips, from Metro police, about people loitering on the corner of Market and Prinsloo streets and prostitutes servicing their clients in the Joubert Street and Piet Retief Street parks, as well as weekend partying there.