The Western Cape has appointed 500 Learner Law Enforcement Officers (LLEO) to ensure the safety of the citizens of the Cape Flats. With the crime rate being the highest in the country, short term measures as part of a broader safety plan are urgently needed.
“The deployment of the first 500 LLEOs will take place in communities most affected by violence, which is informed by data taken from the top 10 crime hotspots. Through our deployment interventions and targeted violence prevention programmes, the Western Cape Safety Plan aims to halve the murder rate over the next 10 years,” said Albert Fritz, the Western Cape MEC of Community Safety.
In their first few months of deployment, the officers will receive an induction which includes in-field training to orientate them in the communities where they will be deployed. Thereafter, they will be operationally deployed, using a data-driven approach to reduce crime. The second group of 500 LLEOs are expected to be appointed by July 2020. The Western Cape Safety Plan foresees a total deployment of 3000 officers.
Fritz said this is an opportunity to grant the unemployed youth employment instead of falling into a life of street criminality. They will be fully trained within the next month and become legal law enforcement officers and peace officers.
Mitchells Plain Community Policing Forum (CPF) chairperson Abie Isaacs said that they welcome any additional help to deal with crime and ensure the safety of the communities.
“Let’s deal with the contributing factors. By-law enforcement will have a massive impact on crime; their focus should be people who live in rental council houses that are owned by drug dealers. The urination done in the streets are a violation of a by-law as it results in health risks. Learner Law Enforcement Officers are the officers who need to implement those laws,” said Isaacs.
Fritz stressed that the by-laws can be adhered to if implementation takes place with these officers in the communities.
“Everyone knows who the drug dealers are in the council houses and nothing is done about that,” said Fritz.
The minister indicated he will be having a meeting with the new Western Cape police commissioner Yolisa Matakata, to speak about more ways to reduce the crime rate and gang violence.
“The officers will be deployed where they are needed the most. The results of where they will be deployed will be based on the data provided and analysis of the evidence of where the crime rate is the highest, it should also help with future deployment,” said Fritz.
“We need all hands on deck and let’s leave the politics to the politicians. I sincerely hope we hit the ground with this initiative and hope that this will not be apart of the 2021 election as this is a local government election,” said Isaacs.