By Anees Teladia
While many in Cape Town are relieved at the deployment of the South African National Defence Force in the Cape Flats and the increased police presence, murderous criminals and shameless gangsters continue to plague local communities. Several people have been wounded in gang-related violence this past weekend, with two children, aged six and 16, among the victims. Furthermore, a Ukrainian tourist has been robbed and killed near a parking lot at the beginning of a hiking trail in Hout Bay, on Saturday.
Western Cape Minister of Community Safety, Albert Fritz says that one of the key issues hindering effective crime–fighting in the province is poor quality crime intelligence operations.
“If the forces [SAPS and the SANDF] and operations are in one area, the gangs emerge in another area…we can’t just have a show of force everywhere,” said Fritz.
“The problem is that we have a lack of an intelligence–driven approach.”
One of three suspects in the murder of the Ukrainian tourist has been successfully apprehended through the use and efforts of private Hout Bay residential security features and the Hout Bay resident-established non-profit company, Community Crime Prevention.
The victim died at the scene of the attack.
Minister Fritz expressed the opinion that there is a clear moral degeneration in the province and that accordingly, there is an urgent need to re-establish and re-inculcate spiritual guidance and moral foundations.
He also indicated that the gangsterism is spreading further into rural communities in the province.
“There’s a sense that we need to get our morality and spiritual foundations back, so that young people can start believing that they have a purpose and start having hope,” he said.
“Gangs are even contaminating poor farming areas now. All municipalities need to look at a solution, together.”
Fritz then echoed previous statements by the Western Cape government, saying that the province has insufficient police resources. In addition, the concept of “crime displacement” has been flagged as a major risk to joint force operations.
Crime displacement is referred to by Minister Fritz as the “relocation of crime or criminals as a result of police crime-prevention efforts”.
Following this definition, a statement by the minister has indicated that criminologists have identified six types of crime displacement:
– When criminal activity begins to adjust and occurs at different times of the day
– When criminals adjust and adopt different strategies and methods of perpetrating crimes
– When criminals start selecting new and / or different types of targets
4.Type of crime displacement
– When criminals begin to perpetrate different crimes, as a means of adjusting and adapting to changing environments and circumstances
– When criminals seek new areas and locations to commit crimes
– The occurrence of apprehended criminals being replaced by new, similar criminals
“Each of these forms of displacement is a risk to the current operations on the ground. There have already been reports of spatial displacement to the CBD and the hinterlands…There have been further reports of known gangsters from the Elsies River community being arrested upon moving their operations to Hermanus. I call on the SAPS and SANParks to make use of the state-of-the-art Transport Management Centre and the ShotSpotter technologies to anticipate and prevent further crime related to displacement,” said Fritz.