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Collaborative effort in Cape Town aims to boost public transport safety amidst rising crime

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By Lee-Yandra Paulsen

The City of Cape Town and the Western Cape government have joined forces in a strategic effort to enhance safety and security in the realm of public transportation. This initiative, known as the Public Transport Facilities Safety Team, is a critical component of the broader Safer Public Transport project and is backed by funding from the Western Cape Mobility Department.

The project entails the deployment of additional law enforcement teams to hotspots within public transport facilities situated in Wynberg, Langa, and Mitchells Plain. The aim is to address issues related to safety and security, particularly in areas that have been witnessing a surge in criminal activities.

Wynberg, in particular, has been identified as a crucial focus area due to its role as a significant public transport interchange in Cape Town. As Ansar Salie, spokesperson for the Wynberg Community Policing Forum (CPF), pointed out, this interchange serves not only the Southern suburbs but also the entire Cape Flats and a portion of the Northern Suburbs. This heavy footfall inevitably attracts criminal elements, leading to a rise in opportunistic crimes such as muggings and robberies.

“The upcoming festive season is a critical juncture when crime rates tend to escalate. People shopping and carrying cash become prime targets for criminals, and the presence of gangs further exacerbates the situation. Additionally, the influx of homeless individuals from various regions has contributed to the heightened crime rates in Wynberg,” said Salie.

Salie underscored the need for a thorough reassessment of the areas deemed crime hotspots, as many residents face persistent gang-related violence. He noted the South African Police Service’s recent launch of a festive season operation plan and the alarming number of arrests on the Cape Flats within a week.

However, despite the high levels of crime in these areas, the deployment of resources has predominantly been concentrated within the public transport interchanges, which may not effectively address the root causes of the problem. Salie urged that more resources should be directed towards the areas in dire need of intervention.

Salie expressed hope for the upcoming deployment of 2,600 South African Police Service officers, with a primary focus on crime hotspots, to combat and mitigate the ongoing gang violence. This move is anticipated to significantly contribute to enhancing security in these regions.

VOC News

Photo: VOCfm

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