Tuesday, September 14, 2021

250 additional LEAP Officers training to be deployed in Cape crime hotspots

The Western Cape‘s crime-fighting efforts received a boost when 250 law-enforcement officers were recruited for the province’s most dangerous neighbourhoods.

On Monday, community safety MEC Albert Fritz said the new Law Enforcement Advancement Plan (LEAP) officers would be ready for deployment in some of the crime hotspots in the Cape Flats by mid-December, in time for the festive season.

In the next few weeks, LEAP officers will receive training in how to use a handgun, a tonfa (baton) and pepper spray, how to stop and approach people, as well as radio procedures.

The new intake brings the number of Leap officers in the Western Cape to 1,081. The unit has 110 Leap commanders, who have already been deployed.

Fritz said the new officers would increase visible policing in the identified crime hotspots in Cape Town. The officers are being deployed as part of the Western Cape safety plan which was launched late in 2019, when the province and Cape Town were dealing with a murder epidemic.

News of the training for new LEAP officers comes on the back of calls from MEC Fritz for greater policing responsibility to be devolved to provinces. At present, policing policy is centralized in the National Minister of Police, with provinces limited to playing oversight.

“The Western Cape Government wants more policing responsibility, so that we can make policy that speaks to the needs of our province, and support the Western Cape SAPS to a far greater extent than we are currently doing. The Constitution makes provision for greater involvement by the provinces, beyond just an oversight role. We can’t afford to be mere spectators ticking boxes. Our citizens need us to be more involved!”

“the current centralized approach to policing is not working, as evidenced by the SAPS’s owns statistics; and as the Provincial Government, we want to get more involved. We received no resource allocation for LEAP, but we’ve nevertheless managed to train and deploy more than 1000 officers. We have laid the foundation with our Provincial Safety Plan, and we are ready to take it to the next level now. Why stop us? Our citizens need us to realise that the fight against crime is one fight that cannot be superseded by a ANC versus DA contestation. Our citizens need us to work together on this,” Fritz added.

 

Done By: Mitchum George

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