From the news desk

Lack of confidence in police leaves gang violence rife on Cape Flats

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By Aneeqa du Plessis

Western Cape MEC for Police Oversight and Community Safety Reagen Allen, said since 2020 the Law Enforcement Advancement Plan (LEAP) officers have been effective in combating crime, particularly murder. LEAP areas recorded a total of 428 homicides from January to March this year. Allen explained homicides in LEAP areas decreased by 9% from 468 cases in 2021/2022 to 428 in 2022/2023 when compared with the same period last year.

“These preliminary results are truly encouraging. It shows that our investment is paying dividends. One murder will always remain one murder too many and we must continue to do everything in our power to combat these murders and all other crimes across the province,” explained Allen.

LEAP is strategically deployed, and its operations are based on evidence and data. This includes the top 10 murder areas in the Western Cape, such as Delft, Gugulethu, Harare, Khayelitsha (Site B policing precinct), Kraaifontein, Mfuleni, Mitchells Plain, Nyanga, Philippi East, and Samora Machel. Other high crime areas in which they are deployed are Atlantis, Bishop Lavis and Hanover Park, along with Lavender Hill, Steenberg and Grassy Park.

However, the same sentiments cannot be said for Lentegeur, Mitchells Plain. This comes as alarmed residents said gang violence has flared. Ward councillor Avron Plaatjies has agreed with the sentiments made by residents in the area.

“We have seen a spate in gang violence in our area, but I have also been witness to the proactiveness from law officials. On Wednesday, 13 people were searched and two arrests were made by Metro Police,” said Plaatjies on VOC’s Breakfast show on Friday morning.

But, for some resident’s criminals and police work hand in hand and thus it is impossible to ever rid communities completely from gang violence. Plaatjies said he is aware of the lack of confidence in the South African Police Service (SAPS).

“I want to encourage community members to use alternatives, if they witness anything suspicious, they should contact the City of Cape Town on their anonymous tip-off line on 0800 110 077 and this way we can hold officials to account when we do try to make headway in fighting crime,” added Plaatjies.

Hanover Park

A crisis is brewing in Hanover Park. These are the words of Community Policing Forum (CPF) member Yaseen Johaar who said killings in the gang riddled area have continued across the week.

“Last week Friday saw a multi-million-rand drone project launched in the area but that did not stop the shootings and killings. Our community is in complete chaos. No matter what measures are put in place to curb the violence it hasn’t stopped. We are living in fear,” said Johaar.

He further questioned who is profiting from the ongoing crime. “It doesn’t make sense that you have millions pumped into a community to aid in the fight against crime, gang violence and drugs but nothing is changing in fact it is getting worse,” added Johaar.


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