Thanks to SAPS, St Francis is in safe hands

Captain du Toit thanks for a great job!

The South African Police all too often get bad publicity owing to a few bad eggs and usually because of the fact that bad news sells far better than good. Television, newspapers and online news post seldom feature the incredibly good work that the police do, preferring to rather dig up dirt.

In large cities and towns the local police are relatively invisible as individuals for the simple reason that there is little or no interaction with the public. In smaller communities such as St Francis it is far different. The residents of these smaller communities get to know their police and many have reason to interact with them on a regular basis. In other words the police are well known by the community, both by the law abiding and by those with a more criminal leaning.

Many if not most successes achieved by police in fighting crime are through their understanding and knowledge of the community they protect. Trust is possibly the most important component for once they have the trust of the community their fight against crime and general policing becomes all the more effective. But trust takes time to build and as their successes become more and more evident  so the trust factor grows. A trusting community is far more likely to offer up information on crime they witness than a community where there is no trust or respect.

In St Francis we are indeed fortunate in that heading up the local constabulary we have a truly dedicated, effective and capable leader in Captain Johan du Toit. Not only does Capt. du Toit head up the station as station commander but also heads up a very active and successful detective team. This in itself is a little unusual for normally the station commander would be a uniformed officer so the fact that du Toit has so ably managed both positions says much for is people management skills.

Having been stationed in the area for the past two years, du Toit certainly has cemented bonds within the  community and earned their trust. Peet Leen, chairman of the Sea Vista Community Policing Forum (CPF) has this to say.  “Capt. du Toit has taken the time to both understand and address the problems of Sea Vista. He has been extremely effective in identifying the ring leaders within community and has made a huge difference in restricting the activities of the criminals.”

Chatting with Lyn Edwards of Calibre Security, a company that obviously works closely with the police had this to say, “Capt. du Toit has been hugely effective and proactive since he took up his position in St Francis and has truly made an enormous difference. I really don’t know what we would do were we to ever lose him for he has really taken the time to understand the community and has certainly curbed crime in the St Francis precinct by identifying and actively seeking out the ring leaders.”

And further praise from John Hammond who heads up the local Policing Community Forum

“Capt. du Toit has certainly become a very integral member of the community and through his successes, has won the trust of the community of not only Sea Vista but also that of both St Francis Bay and Cape St Francis. He has done a superb job interfacing with the CPF and I have found him extremely open and helpful in trying new initiatives including being extremely helpful in our efforts to introduce CCTV monitoring in known problem areas. Crime has fallen by more that 30 percent since he took up his position and not only has he brought many of the perpetrators of crime to book, but has often recovered precious keepsakes and property of victims. ”

Having met Capt. du Toit whilst attending a Community Policing Forum meeting and having chatted to him in the past, he is the sort of officer that St Francis desperately needs. Stories of successes from victims of crime where Capt. du Toit has brought the culprits to book are numerous and far too many to add to this article but one he related was where a valuable ring had been stolen. The captain explaining how the community is so important in helping the police, told how they were able over a period of five days of intensive investigation to not only arrest the perpetrator but also recover the ring.

Capt. du Toit is not only well respected by the community, he is very much part of it.

St Francis Today, and we are sure all of the law abiding residents of St Francis extend our thanks, not only to Capt. du Toit, but to all his colleagues in SAPS St Francis. Keep up the great work of keeping us protected.

Prime Timers visit The Belfry

The Belfry Kitchen where cash is not essential!

Twenty three Prime Timers booked for their second outing that saw them visiting the Belfry Kitchen in Twee Rivier for a delicious 4-course Sunday lunch.  Set in beautiful surroundings, the ‘kitchen’ in its very simplest form, is a lunchtime café for serving staff and students as well as doubling as the town’s post office.

Prime Timers visiting The Belfry Kitchen in Twee Rivier

The Belfry Kitchen offers a practical answer to these economic times – both present and ahead and dining or shopping at the kitchen does not necessarily require cash for barter trades are welcome. The Prime Timers chose the cash option for at R56.00 for a delicious four-course meal it was a steal. The food served at the ‘kitchen’ is all home grown or homemade, from the vegetables to the cheese served with home baked bread with homemade butter with even the meat coming from the farm for The Belfry Kitchen believes ‘even slaughtering and hunting find their proper place in this circle of supply’.

A stunning venue with excellent food and company!

Paulene and Colleen certainly seem to be able to find great places to visit for these Prime Timer outings and obviously are able to negotiate good value from the venues they choose. Last month Prime Timers visited Addo Elephant followed by a lunch at nearby Hopefield Country House at a cost of just R148 for the day’s outing. No doubt members of the newly formed group await news of the next Prime Timers outing with great anticipation.

Thoroughly enjoyed by all who attended!

For more information on Prime Timers, how to join and other information, call Paulene on 084 7897801 or 042 2940301.

Lunch at The Belfrey Kitchen

Lunch at The Belfrey Kitchen

About the Belfry Kitchen and what it is not trying to be

The Belfry does not have the pursuit of healthy living in mind. If it achieves this, it is incidental.

The Belfry does not pursue the pleasing of its customers, but chooses rather to rekindle and demonstrate a former way – long before the misery of consumer-dom conferred its despondent role.

The Belfry does not aim to offer a recreational break or respite from real life, but takes delight in exhibiting the most sober and encouraging reflection of it, in all its facets, both glorious and humble.

The Belfry Kitchen