Voice of the Cape

From the news desk

Ceasefire moves to M/berg

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The gang infested community of Manenberg will be at the receiving end of yet another Operation Ceasefire conducted by the local Metro Police specialised units. Headed by Mayoral Member for Safety and Security, Alderman JP Smith, the previous roll-out of this project in Hanover Park received an overwhelming response in the gang stricken area, that it is now being channelled in other parts.

“These are two of the areas that have seen the most aggressive gang violence problems. We have been running the project in Hanover Park now for about one and a half years now and we have received positive results thus far,” Smith explained.

The project is ultimately aimed at making the streets of Manenberg a safer place. Smith said there has been a reduction in attempted murder and murder in Hanover Park. This new statistic has been a particularly great achievement for the operation and the people of the community.

“We’d like to extend the same benefits the project has had in Hanover Park to Manenberg,” Smith said.

The project will be implemented at the beginning of July, with a R35million budget. The department will only source and supply jobs to individuals residing in the Manenberg area, through training rent-a-cops and outreach initiatives.

“The project also aims to remove young people from the gang activity and offer them an opportunity to be a part of various outreach programs,” Smith added.

Ceasefire is a project which identifies gang violence as an epidemic. The particular method of combating gang violence stemmed from the University of Illinois in the United States.

“The concept of ceasefire is to treat gang violence as an epidemic and quarantine all those involved in the violence,” Smith stated.

Meanwhile, the ‘violence interrupters’, who are trained members of the particular community, will step in whenever conflict arises. They will attempt to negotiate with the two conflicting parties’ associates and family to find non-violent ways of resolving the issues. According to Smith, every single cent spent on the project goes back into the community by employing its residents. VOC (Ra’eesah Isaacs)


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