New Turffontein contact centre brings police, community closer together

Public Safety MMC Michael Sun prepares to cut the ribbonPublic Safety MMC Michael Sun, accompanied by Brigadier Morgan Rangasamy, ward councillors, police and community members, prepares to cut the ribbon opening the SAPS Contact Point - Booysens/Moffatview. (Photo: Rudo Mungoshi)

The communities of Turffontein, Rosettenville and neighbouring suburbs in Johannesburg south have been afforded better, quicker access to police services with the opening of a new SAPS contact centre.

Public Safety MMC Michael SunThe new contact centre forms part of the City's work to improve access for residents, MMC Sun told the gathering at the opening. (Photo: Rudo Mungoshi)The SAPS Contact Point - Booysens/Moffatview is located in Bertha Street, just off the Main Street border between Turrfontein and Rosettenville and exactly half-way between the two stations that serve the community, the Booysens and Moffatview Police Stations.

The opening of the centre on Friday, 9 September coincided with a community anti-drug awareness march that started at Rotunda Park, just six blocks down Bertha Street, and paused on its return to the park while Public Safety MMC Michael Sun - who was taking part in the march - spoke at the centre's opening.

"The contact centre is significant move that will help improve relationship between the police and local community," MMC Sun said. "It is part of the City's work to improve access for residents."

JDA, local business community take the lead

Members of the community campaigning against drugsMembers of the community campaigning against drugs pause to witness the opening of the centre. (Photo: Rudo Mungoshi)The building housing the centre was made available by the local community business forum, which was initiated by the Johannesburg Development Agency (JDA).

JDA development facilitation manager Nicolette Pingo, also speaking at the opening, said the centre would help the SA Police Service (SAPS), Joburg Metro Police Department (JMPD), neighbourhood watches and volunteers to coordinate their work for less crime and safer communities in the area.

"The presence of the contact centre in the area will make policing more visible, which we hope will have a major impact on the crimes that are committed in this area," Pingo said, adding that the centre would also be used for community safety programmes run by the SAPS and JMPD.

"Today's event demonstrates the actions of many who have vision and passion for the southern area of the city," thanking the local business community in particular for making the building and resources available for the new facility.

New facility 'there to serve everyone'

JDA development facilitation manager Nicolette PingoJDA development facilitation manager Nicolette Pingo was one of the key movers behind the establishment of the new facility. (Photo: Rudo Mungoshi)Speaking earlier, business forum member Ilona Szabo pointed out that the centre's location, on the border of the areas served by the Booysens and Moffatview police stations, meant it was ideally placed to coordinate their activities - while giving people a central point of contact between the two stations, which are located six kilometres apart.

Brigadier Morgan Rangasamy, station commander at Booysens Police Station, also thanked the business community for taking the lead in combatting crime in their neighbourhood, saying the new contact centre would make a big difference to police response times in the area.

It would also help bring the police closer to the community, he said, adding: "The contact centre will be there to serve everyone and not only the business community."