AS a past chairman and current committee member of the Richmond Hill Community Forum, I am involved on a day-to-day basis with community affairs in the area. I know Alan Mounter, the current Richmond Hill Sector Crime Forum (RHSCF) chairman, well and know his whole history ("Crime forum boss’s past convictions”, June 7).
Two things are relevant here – firstly, that his history is chequered, but, secondly, that he has been very open about it to us. People change and, through life lessons learnt. Alan obviously has.
The amount of hard work and effort he has put into Richmond Hill to make it a safer place to live is tremendous and we applaud him for it. That attitude was reflected by the community at large at the RHSCF meeting held on Wednesday evening, where only good chairmanship prevented the Community Policing Forum (CPF) chairman and some of the police officials from being booed out of the hall.
While we were at the meeting, a resident’s vehicle stolen from outside the hall, probably because the i.Patrol vehicle wasn’t present, all the police were in the meeting or otherwise changing shift – and irresponsible newspaper reporting has let all the criminals out there know that!
The RHSCF (and Alan in particular) has made a tremendous dent in crime levels in the area. Sometimes we face up to hardened criminals and cannot wait possibly hours for the police to respond to an emergency call!
During such an event, a walk-a-lout decided to take Alan on and got a tonk on the head for his trouble. This has resulted in Alan being found guilty of assault – another example of our rather skewed judicial system.
While other cases from our area, including rape, take literally years to sort out, the speed at which Alan’s case went through the courts leaves no doubt in our minds there was undue influence from certain quarters.
The various sector community forums (SCFs) fall under the CPF and, as substructures, should be represented on the CPF committee – or at least that would be standard practice! None of the CPF committee members attend the monthly RHSCF meetings, which they are supposed to do.
Not once, during the period of Alan’s trial, did the CPF chairman or his committee make contact with any member of the RHSCF, to offer advice or encouragement or to explain the way forward depending on the trial outcome. It is blatantly clear that there are personal issues at play here – and the CPF appears to be of absolutely no use to us at all.
Notwithstanding the fact that Richmond Hill is an active community, with a full committee running its SCF and another full committee running its civic affairs section, the CPF and the Humewood police have taken it on themselves to remove the i.Patrol vehicle from the area – without jurisdiction and without consultation with anybody! On what grounds and under whose authority, one may well ask?
Williams Hunt, that awarded the community with the i.Patrol vehicle, certainly had no knowledge of that action at the time. Subsequently, Williams Hunt appears to have bowed to said influence and placed the vehicle in another area.
The CPF chairperson and certain members of the Humewood police have certainly lost all credibility with the local community. It is a pity that personal issues, politics and jealousy get in the way of crime-fighting, which is the real reason these organisations exist!
That said, we cannot allow small-mindedness to cloud our goals and it is now time for us to carry on with crime-fighting issues. We would like to concentrate on making Richmond Hill a better and safer place to live.
Scott Rollo, Richmond Hill, Port Elizabeth