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Cape Town - There is a need to continue building police stations in the Western Cape because of gang violence and drug abuse, Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa said on Friday.
“We have pointed out that what we are confronted with in this province is a 200-year-old deep-seated legacy that cannot be eradicated by police alone,” he said in a speech prepared for delivery at the opening of the Lentegeur police station.
“To this end, we are currently implementing a gang combating strategy that is designed to both combat gang violence as well as eliminate the criminal economy of these gangs.”
Police community relations needed to be strengthened.
The start of “operation combat” in July last year had already helped stabilise some Western Cape communities, including Lavender Hill, Grassy Park, Hanover Park, and Manenberg.
Mthethwa said police would ensure that Lentegeur would also benefit.
“This is an integrated strategy and what this means is that it incorporates various pillars, such as visible policing, investigations, crime information management, and importantly, the support and involvement of communities.
“The opening of this police station will definitely help our crusade in this regard,” he said.
A multifaceted approach was needed.
Parents, NGOs, and faith-based organisations needed to help with social factors, such as substance abuse. Everybody needed to be involved, not just police.
“While the SAPS (SA Police Service) will continue to arrest those who commit crime, a greater and growing awareness among parents/guardians to look after and protect children must be intensified within society,” said Mthethwa.
“Any commission of crime by children is a societal challenge that requires a societal response, not just by police but all of us as a collective.”
He said police were improving their investigative capacity to ensure criminals were arrested and punished.