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HomeAfrica-NewsMore cops on the ground for the festive season, but is it...

More cops on the ground for the festive season, but is it enough? Ask the Western Cape CPFs

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Police parade at the launch of the Safer Festive campaign at Rocklands Sports Field on November 15, 2022 in Mitchells Plain.

Gallo Images/Brenton Geach

  • Additional police resources are expected to be deployed to the Western Cape over the festive season.
  • However, some communities say it is not enough to address the crime levels they face.
  • The CPFs have argued that resources should be focused on the Cape Flats and other crime hotspots.

The Western Cape is expected to receive an influx of police resources ahead of the festive season. However, some residents of crime-ridden areas say they doubt the extra boots on the ground will have a lasting impact.

At the launch of the South African Police Service’s Safer Holiday Season campaign in Cape Town this week, Police Minister Bheki Cele said there were more than 10,000 recruits. The program has been launched in four provinces.

The Western Cape is expected to see more than 1,000 of these recruits join the ranks of the police service. Cele said that patrol vehicles had also been deployed in police areas around Cape Flats.

Mobile community service centers are being set up in Vrygrond and Dunoon in Cape Town, as well as in Zwelihle in Hermanus.

“This show of force should serve as a warning shot to criminals, but it should also demonstrate the commitment of this ministry and SAPS management to support [and] to improve police service delivery,” Cele said.

“We want this in all provinces as it will allow the police to continue to respond to all opportunistic criminal elements, not just this festive season but beyond,” the minister added.

READ | Cape Town’s crime-fighting goes high-tech: with drones, cameras and sensors

Cele warned against misusing the new police resources.

“These new vehicles and mobile stations must not be abused and must only be used for their intended purpose, which is to ensure that South Africans and all those within our borders always have access to a police officer at all times,” said.

Adding to police resources will be law enforcement efforts in Cape Town.

“The City of Cape Town has a comprehensive security plan for the festive season each year, led by our Safety and Security Directorate, and supported by many other departments,” said JP Smith, mayco Fellow for Cape Town Security. Cape.

“Details of the full plan will be made public soon, but as usual, specific areas of focus will include road safety, more patrols around popular destinations like shopping centers, beaches and other public services, and also fire safety, as Cape Town experiences an increase in vegetation fires during the warmer months,” Smith added.

Bongani Maquungwana, spokesperson for the Samora Machel Community Policing Forum (CPF), said the additional deployment was badly needed, especially as it appeared crime in the Western Cape was on the rise.

He said:

These resources must be allocated to the areas that need them most throughout the province. ‘Problem’ areas do not have cameras and rely solely on police patrol. While the deployment is welcome for the festive season, we want the same number to remain in the province even after that period.

Site B Khayelitsha CPF Chairman Monde Bambelo said more resources were needed in the province.

“We are grateful for the boots on the ground, and it will be a great help, but we definitely need more. We want the police to play a proactive role, not a reactive one. More manpower is a welcome short-term solution, but to be proactive help towards the long-term goal of reducing crime in our communities. We need strategies to ensure these crimes don’t happen,” he said.

Elsies River CPF President Hamish Arries said his community was “gripped by gangsterism and lawlessness”.

MITCHELLS PLAIN, SOUTH AFRICA - NOVEMBER 15: Minis

Police Minister Bheki Cele at the launch of the Safer Festival Campaign at Rocklands Sports Ground on November 15, 2022 in Mitchells Plain

MITCHELLS PLAIN, SOUTH AFRICA - NOVEMBER 15:Police

Police parade at the launch of the Safer Festive campaign at Rocklands Sports Field on November 15, 2022 in Mitchells Plain

MITCHELLS PLAIN, SOUTH AFRICA - NOVEMBER 15: Minis

Police Minister Bheki Cele, Western Cape Police Commissioner Lt-Gen Thembisile Patekile, and Gift of Givers founder Dr Imtiaz Sooliman at the launch of the Safer Holiday Campaign at Rocklands Sports Field on November 15, 2022 at Mitchells Plain.

MITCHELLS PLAIN, SOUTH AFRICA - NOVEMBER 15:Police

Police parade at the launch of the Safer Festive campaign at Rocklands Sports Field on November 15, 2022 in Mitchells Plain.

“We’re excited to see more boots being deployed on the ground, but the other issue is that the community needs to work to fix itself from within as well. We say thank you to the minister, but we need more boots and more intervention when it comes to crime,” he said.

“Crime and lawlessness are rife during the festive season. We have to be cautious and vigilant within our communities because deployed police will not be with us forever. Deployment should be highly concentrated on the Cape Flats, where it is needed most, and not on the beaches where people go for pleasure”.

Western Cape Police Oversight and Community Safety MEC Reagen Allen said increased police visibility was the first step in the fight against crime.

“The reality is that there is currently a SAPS vacancy rate of about 10% in the Western Cape. Although more officers will be deployed, it does not address this shortfall. There is a great need to review how officers are allocated and deployed. SAPS officers. Frankly, a complete review is required,” he added.

Allen said the devolution of the national police force would go a long way toward improving resource allocation.


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