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Community Safety Department to be renamed to include police oversight in the Western Cape

Winde made the announcement during his State of the Province Address, and said that the province would significantly expand its monitoring of police stations. Picture Henk Kruger/African News Agency (ANA)

Winde made the announcement during his State of the Province Address, and said that the province would significantly expand its monitoring of police stations. Picture Henk Kruger/African News Agency (ANA)

Published Feb 15, 2022

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Cape Town – The Department of Community Safety will be renamed the Department of Police Oversight and Community Safety, Premier Alan Winde said on Tuesday.

Winde made the announcement during his State of the Province Address, and said that the province would significantly expand its monitoring of police stations.

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“The most recent quarterly crime statistics demonstrate that extra resources in communities where the murder rate is high, can have a noticeable effect.

“In fact, the Western Cape was the only province to record a stabilisation in the murder rate in the latest crime statistics.

“While we continue with this data-led ’boots-on-the-ground’ intervention, we must not forget that we have a constitutional responsibility to provide oversight over the police, so that they deliver the quality services that we need to beat crime,” Winde said.

“As we rethink, focus and innovate to do even better, we intend to take this oversight role even more seriously – and not just at the national level, but at the local level, too.

“We will therefore significantly expand our monitoring of police stations across the province, with a focus on GBV and domestic violence responses, police conduct, visible policing, and crime investigation efficiency.

“The Department of Community Safety will also accordingly be renamed the Department of Police Oversight and Community Safety in the Western Cape,” Winde added.

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“We are today sending a very clear message to the national government that we intend to assert as much pressure as we can, including the option of reopening our intergovernmental dispute, so that we finally correct the historical under-resourcing of the Western Cape.”

He added the provincial cabinet had adopted a GBV implementation plan, and that key interventions had been identified and agreed upon to be prioritised by all 13 heads of department.

"We are fully committed to implementing this plan, and will constantly review it so that it is improved. But fighting the scourge of GBV cannot be the responsibility of the government alone.

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“The pervasive nature of this violence means that every single organisation, be it private or public, needs its own GBV implementation plan.

“If we are to really bring an end to this crisis in our communities, this impunity has to end. And we need to do much more, not only as a government, but as civil society, as the private sector, as families and as private individuals. We all have a role to play.”

In his address, the premier added that province would also strengthen the Probation Case Management electronic system for children in conflict with the law, which was piloted in the metro.

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“Once fully implemented, it will constitute a fully electronic case management system, replacing paper-based processes, and will enable work to be done from home visits, at courts, and during visits to prisons.”

Read Premier Alan Winde’s full State of the Province speech below:

Cape Argus

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