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Cape Town -
High-level talks aimed at thrashing out strategies to address the scourge of violent crime and police killings were held at the Western Cape legislature on Wednesday.
Premier Helen Zille, Community Safety MEC Dan Plato and Provincial Police Commissioner Lieutenant-General Arno Lamoer met at Zille’s office following a spate of police killings in the province.
The meeting has been on the cards for weeks as part of regular engagements between the police and provincial government to discuss security aspects but was dominated by the ongoing attacks on the men and women in blue.
Describing the talks as “very fruitful”, Zille said they had discussed potential new strategies to stop police killings and curb violence in the province in general.
Three policemen were gunned down in Nyanga and Mfuleni last week alone.
Zille said she was pleased that the alleged perpetrators involved in the recent killing of the policemen had been arrested and would face the full might of the law.
Speaking after the talks, Lamoer said the attacks on police members in the Western Cape were notably higher than in any other province.
The police chief said six police officers had been killed since the beginning of the year, five of whom were on duty at the time.
Last year, 11 officers were killed in the province.
Lamoer stressed that the police could not fight crime alone.
“This is not just about attacks on police but also about crimes that affect everyone in our communities. These criminals are somebody’s father, mother or child. People know who they are,” he added.
And Lamoer said police were actively identifying the culprits responsible for violent crimes.
“We are busy identifying more and more of these suspects so that they can be exposed for their violent and corrupt activities in our communities.”
Commenting that it has been a bleak and sad time for police in the province, Lamoer said the safety of his team remained of utmost importance.
“We are continuously looking at ways to improve the safety of our members. We look into the behaviour of officers, their personal circumstances and if they comply with the safety standards we set for them,” he added.
- Cape Argus