Combating crime one day at a time

Imran Ghafoor dedicates his time to fighting crime and keeping Newcastle safe.

Determined to do his bit to combat escalating crime, Imran Ghafoor joined Newcastle 911 Community Policing Forum in June.

“I knew I wanted to help the community and ensure their safety. I also knew it was not always possible for the police to attend every common robbery case, as they have their own issues when it comes to [availability of police] vehicles. So, I have a car, and I know the community of Newcastle, so I decided by joining 911, I could actively make a difference within my community.”

Read: Crime fears the 911 call

After joining the forum, he was sent on a tactical training course, which helped him immensely. Thus far, he has successfully assisted in about 30 arrests for crimes ranging from house robberies, house burglaries, armed robberies, common robberies, assault, murder, attempted murders and theft of and out of motor vehicles.

“I am on duty at least 18 hours out of a 24-hour day. I assist wherever I can, whether crime related or looking for something small like a lost puppy.”

He said he enjoyed working hand in hand with police units, such as the K9 and Crime Prevention units, as they were always willing to help when Newcastle 911 needed police assistance. He believes it is a good thing that the 911 forum and SAPS can work well together.

“We can call them any time, and they will come out and assist us.”

Mr Ghafoor said he had noticed incidents of crime such as housebreakings and common robberies had decreased over the last few months – proof that Newcastle 911 had made a positive impact on Newcastle. However, the forum still had not been given permission to use their green lights to enhance visibility.

” We need the green lights, so hopefully we will receive permission soon.”

Mr Ghafoor has been happily married for the past 14 years to his wife, Ameena Ghafoor, who has also recently joined the forum. They have three beautiful children, whom he absolutely adores, and tries to spend as much time as possible with them.

Mr Ghafoor started his first business 15 years ago, and specialised in cellphones and cellphone repairs. He later started specialising in electronics, and now owns a grocery store, as well as a bakery.

He admitted being a businessman, a 911 respondent, a father and a husband proved difficult at times, and sleep could become a luxury, as he had previously gone three days without sleep.

“When a crime has occurred I will not rest until I have done everything I can to ensure the suspects gets caught.”

Mr Ghafoor said 911 forum had made a positive impact and criminals had become wary of the 911, as there are more than 60 members patrolling the streets of Newcastle on a daily basis.

“We are here to fight crime and make our streets a safer place,” he said.

Mr Ghafoor appeals to residents to make use of the Zello application, as it is the way to communicate with Newcastle 911.

After downloading Zello, add Newcastle 911 to your contacts, and keep Zello activated, as you never know when you might need their assistance.

Also read: Fire ignites a sense of community

Zianne Leibrandt

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