From the news desk

“They cannot take the law into their own hands, and they need to communicate with the South African Police Services (SAPS)”

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By Kouthar Sambo

“It has been quite a busy week with four Bulgarians who were shot dead in Constantia, most likely linked to organized crime. On the same day, one woman was shot dead in Wynberg outside the court, which is likely gang-related. It has been a busy week for law enforcement as I believe 1 622 arrests were effected in the last week, as a result of identity operation, which covered a range of things.”

This is according to Criminologist Dr. Simon Howell, who went on to cite the numbers with the City of Cape Town, reporting a 30% increase in crime week on week.

“Their local law enforcement arrested 360 people in comparison to the previous week. One of the things that stood out for me was a nine-year-old – their hearing aid was stolen in Delft (I’m not sure what they’d want to do with that). Furthermore, Surrey Estate community members have pointed out an alleged drug den while two men died and five were involved in vigilantism in Nyanga,” said Howell.

The public has been concerned that South Africa has been recognized as a hotspot for organized crime which, according to Howell, speaks volumes of the lack of policing efforts as well as poor surveillance for criminals which is rather “nothing new.”

Furthermore frustration of the Surrey Estate community – along with many other local communities – continues to grow tremendously and locals fear for their safety and security while not feeling heard. As a result, community members have decided to take direct action by virtue of introspection on societal matters within communities.

However, Howell reminds the public that mob justice is not the answer.

“They cannot take the law into their own hands, and they need to communicate with the South African Police Services (SAPS). In turn, SAPS can make the arrests so the courts can deal with that issue since nobody is guilty until found guilty by the court,” proclaims Howell.

Howell further elaborated that a despondent community may take a stand by doing so in a non-violent manner, in conjunction with the police, then that’s one way of dealing with the matter.

“In Nyanga, two people were killed in vigilante justice – it doesn’t take much to get from a point of identifying the suspected culprits to harming individuals. We must remember that despite the best interest and evidence a community may have, these things need to be ruled by a court of law. the best thing going forward is for the Community Police Forum (CPF) and neighborhood watch to act as the eyes and ears of SAPS and engage with police in a manner that is constructive and allows SAPS to effect arrests in the best way they can,” added Howell.

Photo: Pixabay

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