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Cape Town - Cape Town is to throw more resources into cleaning up crime-ridden Long Street because the police appear to be “severely under-resourced”.
The new plan includes training courses presented by Metropolitan Police experts from London.
An increasingly intelligence-driven and focused approach to curb the crime and “nuisance” situation in the street was on the cards, said the mayoral committee member for safety and security, JP Smith.
Smith said the city’s law enforcement agencies, with its partners the SA Police Service and the Central City Improvement District (CCID), were reviewing strategies to adapt to the changing crime patterns in the CBD.
“Next week, the city will meet with local law enforcement staff, national policing agencies and community stakeholders to determine how we need to change the deployment of our resources according to shifts in the patterns of night-time trade and entertainment in the CBD, and to ensure that we increase patrols to prevent crime in the busiest areas,” said Smith.
I will also be proposing a review of the Streets, Public Places and Prevention of Noise Nuisances Bylaw. This is our most valuable tool in addressing the disorder that leads to more serious crime.
Smith said the city had 92 CCTV cameras in the city centre.
“We are, however, ramping up our surveillance operations. We are investigating stronger joint-deployment efforts which will be supported by our state-of-the-art CCTV surveillance.
“This involves employing and training analysts, with the help of the London Metropolitan Police’s CCTV experts, to ensure that our cameras are used to support the national police with the crime intelligence they need.
“The city’s law enforcement agencies and the CCID have done a great deal… to concentrate our operational efforts on Long Street. The SAPS, however, appear to be seriously under-resourced in the CBD and are not able to respond adequately to the hot spots.”
Smith said city metro police, law enforcement and specialised units continued to carry out numerous policing interventions, mainly at night, with the support of the CCTV centre.
“The CCID deploys additional officers and a mobile unit at night and over weekends specifically for Long Street. This is in addition to a strong deployment per shift in this area.
“Long Street is a familiar tourist attraction known for its vibrant nightlife, but regrettably also for its accompanying vices.”