Western Cape Premier Alan Winde hosted a community meeting in Elsies River on Tuesday to outline the details of his recently launched safety plan. The R1 billion plan which was announced last month is expected to provide 3000 additional law enforcement officers and 150 more investigators available in crime hotspots in the Western Cape. Local Community Policing Forums, Neighbourhood Watches as well as ordinary members of the community were invited to attend the meeting.
Reports by IOL indicate that according to 2019 crime stats, Elsies River had 90 murders – a significant increase in comparison to previous years. Winde says that he plans to employ the same method of stabilisation implemented in Bonteheuwel in Elsies River, due to how successful the stabilisation unit there has been.
Local government implemented a stabilisation unit in Bonteheuwel recently, aiming to combat the overwhelming amount of crime which plagued the community. Since the introduction of the stabilisation unit, many have indicated that there has been a notable difference.
“The plan is two-fold. The one is extra policing and boots on the ground and obviously as a province our mandate is an oversight role of SAPS,” said Winde.
“We also know that 50% of all murders happen in 10 of the 151 police precincts.”
However, despite the planned increase in official presence, Winde stressed that the issues of gangsterism, drugs and violence are societal and need to be addressed by society at large. He also commented on the crisis of values in youth.
“Remember it’s not only about policing, it’s got to be about the way we change society and how the economy is doing,” he said.
The secretary of Elsies River’s CPF, Daniel du Plessis acknowledged the premier’s efforts and indicated that the meeting “was very fruitful”.
“Yesterday’s meeting was very fruitful and should happen more often. Leaders must come to the community and hear their cries.”
“If they can implement their plan, it will be very good.”
However, du Plessis reiterated the need for more police officers and says the presence at the Elsies River police station is insufficient.
“Gangsters are much better organised than the law,” he said.