FOURWAYS – Douglasdale SAPS host a ‘ coffee with a cop’ event at Fourways Mall to get the community comfortable conversing with officers in hopes that more people will start having faith in the police again and report crimes.
The Douglasdale South African Police Service [SAPS] held a ‘Coffee with a Cop’ event on 15 October at Fourways Mall to break the intimidating wall felt by the community between themselves and police officers.
The Fourways Review was welcomed by the new Station Commander Brigadier Veeshani Arikum and Captain Mpho Tshethlane to the event. Arikum said, “The idea is to engage with the community, to listen to what their challenges are and for them to tell us what we can do better to improve our service to them over some coffee…It’s also to build a friendship with them and get rid of the apartheid thing of police being the enemy.”
Constable Shumikazi Mbuli, Sergeant Nicholus Mokwena, Brigadier Veeshani Arikum and Captain Mpho Tshetlhane pose next to the Coffee with a Cop banner. Photo: Refentse Makgamatha
Tshethlane emphasised the importance on building a good relationship with the community and encourage them to report crime in the area no matter what.
Ithlokomeleng Batho Rehabilitation Centre [IBRC] partnered up with the police station to bring the ‘Coffee with a Cop’ concept to life. The programme director at the centre and ‘Coffee with a Cop’ Gauteng coordinator Eddiewren Mutumba explained, “IBRC is a non-government organisation that deals with substance abuse.
The caps that were given to members of the community that interacted with the police officers. Photo: Refentse Makgamatha
“We have been doing a lot of programmes with the SAPS that deal with drug abuse in schools but then we had to find a way to get the community to interact with the police in a way that isn’t all intimidating hence the ‘coffee with a cop’ idea.
“Coffee with a Cop was launched in June in Sedibeng. Behind the uniform, there are everyday human beings and it’s important to show the community that.”
Chairperson of Gauteng Provincial Community Police Board, Thokozani Jacob Masilela added, “This project is intertwined with ‘Adopt a Cop’ which is a school project, Coffee with a Cop is a campaign – we are trying to bring the communities to the police and the police to the communities.
Captain Mpho Tshethlane, Brigadier Veeshani Arikum and Eddiwrens Mutumba at the Coffee with a Cop event. Photo: Supplied
“It’s more of a crime intelligence information network that we bring to space so that communities can give information that can assist the police and that can secure some convictions, so it’s a community and police relations project.”
Chairperson of Gauteng Police Board, Thokozani Masilela highlights the importance of the Coffee with a Cop event. Photo: Supplied
Arikum urged the officers to walk around the mall and bring the community to the setup and have a chat with them over some coffee.
Tshethlane concluded that is was a very successful event. “We interacted with the community and some even came up with initiatives that they want the police to implement.”
Source: Fourways Review