DA officials puts spotlight on LEAP officers in Mitchells Plain and conducts liquor inspections.
DA officials in the Western Cape visited LEAP officers in Rocklands, Mitchells Plain, to understand how they are helping to fight crime in the area and to find out what their needs are to do even more.
The oversight visit comes in light of the latest crime statitstics released by Police Minister Bheki Cele.
The latest stats reveals that more than a 1 000 people were murdered in the Western Cape in the first 3 months of 2022.
The DA Leader in the Western Cape, Tertuis Simmers, says he is shocked by the latest crime stats and has called for the resignation of Police minister, Bheki Cele.
“The latest crime statistics have shocked us all and again raise our concerns that SAPS in the Western Cape is under-resourced. Minister Bheki Cele is failing the people of the Western Cape and he is failing in his duty to make South Africa safer for all. The DA in the Western Cape, as well as the Western Cape Government and the City of Cape Town, call for Minister Cele to step down immediately.”
Simmers was joined by the Western Cape's Community Safety & Police Oversight MEC, Reagen Allen, DA Chairperson in the Western Cape, Jaco Londt, and the City of Cape Town's Mayco member for safety and security, JP Smith.
The oversight visit included inspections of liquor outlet in the area.
Western Cape’s Community Safety & Police Oversight MEC, Reagen Allen, said the main drivers of murder in the area are alcohol abuse, drug abuse, and illegal firearms.
“We [authorities] are aware in terms of the crime stats, that alcohol and the lack of responsible drinking contributes to violence, crime and assaults. So to regulate the alcohol industry, also to make sure more responsible drinking happens and ensure the outlets are within the perimeter of the law.”
Allen says the number of LEAP officers deployed in hotspot areas changes on a regular basis, depending on where they are needed. LEAP officers are deployed in thirteen stations.
“The Western Cape’s safety plan is a 2 prong approach. Law enforcement officers, LEAP officers, boots on the ground. Violence prevention is a key component if we consider the social ills that many communities face. Departments work together to eradicate anti-social behaviours, We need to make sure we work with SAPS and make sure gangsters are ultimately arrested and convicted.”
Mayco member for safety and security, JP Smith, has called on the resignation of Cele, saying that the police resources are being cut despite the high number of crime in the country.
“The crime stats are deeply alarming. Its indicative of the unfortunate and sustained disinvestment in policing. Our budget has been cut, We are loosing 26 000 staff members, you see those cuts in Khayelitsha, Mitchell’s Plain and Cape Town Central. The lack of police resources is causing communities to pay the price and this is why we deployed LEAP officers.
Smith has called on national government to devolve policing into provinces.
“SAPS has been a rollercoaster of increased dysfunction and poorer results for communities all the time. Serious starvation and resources and again its time that SAPS elsewhere as in provincial and local control. This being under control.of national government is not serving our communities well.”
Smith says he's concerned about liquor outlets in residential areas.
“I’m deeply uncomfortable with liquor stores in residential areas as are most communities. Residents who live near them suffer the consequences of the noise and impact on them continuously. I don’t think liquor stores belong in residential areas. They are a disservice in the community.”
“There’s a reason for the LEAP officers today [during the oversight visits] as they are normally confiscating firearms and drugs, but we wanted to profile the liquor enforcement. We work with SAPS and Western Cape Liquor Authority. Liquor is our major contributor to our death rate in our communities and those drive up our murder statistics.
Simmers says that he is proud of the work that LEAP is doing to assist SAPS and the City of Cape Town’s Law Enforcement to make our communities safer.
“LEAP forms part of the DA-led Western Cape Government’s Provincial Safety Plan and I am reassured today of the positive impact their work has in the community.”
Done By: Mitchum George