Western Cape Minister of Community Safety, Alan Winde, says he wants to urgently roll out a pilot project which sees Western Cape Government volunteers doing duty as Commissioners of Oaths in Mitchell’s Plain and Bonteheuwel. This is so that police officers can focus on averting crime through patrols.
“I’ve heard the cries of community members in both Mitchells Plain and Bonteheuwel, who have requested urgent intervention following a spike in gang murders. We desperately need to get more police officers on our streets so that community members can be protected,” said MEC Winde.
“Although I only have an oversight mandate over the police service, I cannot sit by and allow 25 deaths in Mitchells Plain within a three-week period, and 17 deaths since the beginning of the year in Bonteheuwel to go unattended.”
As the Bonteheuwel community falls under the Bishop Lavis Precinct, WInde said he will be writing to the Provincial Police Commissioner, LT Gen Jula to request that space be made available in the Mitchells Plain and Bishop Lavis stations, so that government volunteers can perform the Commissioner of Oaths duties. This will ensure that police officers are freed up from this administrative duty and become more visible by patrolling our streets.
“Should we not receive any permission from the SAPS by the end of this week, we will, as with the pilot project at the Cape Town Central Police station, do everything in our power to deploy our safety kiosks to these areas,” he said.
Early data from the pilot project at the Cape Town Central police station, which was conducted over a nine-day period, shows that at least four officers could be released from desk duty per day, to either patrol the streets or conduct investigations.
“We are 4500 police officers short in the Province and the Minister of Police, Bheki Cele continues to ignore our request for additional resources or to deploy the army as a peace-keeping force. We will continue to support the Anti-Gang Unit, but their effectiveness will have to be addressed. I will not allow our residents to be killed like flies while Minister Cele wants to play politics with their lives,” Winde said.