Differences between the City of Cape Town's metro police and LEAP officers queried
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Cape Town - Mandate differences between the City’s metro police and the Law Enforcement Advancement Plan (LEAP) programme came under the microscope when the City’s Safety and Security Directorate presented its Metropolitan Police Department’s Annual Police Plan to the provincial legislature.
Standing committee on community safety member Ferlon Christians (ACDP), himself a former law-enforcement officer, said: “Your unit is so small and you’re running a 24-hour service, so you must have a skeleton staff. Is there a need for metro police to exist?
“I see your mandate and I see your powers, but I can’t understand how 565 operational officers makes sense when you have LEAP with almost 4 000 officers in the City of Cape Town.”
Fellow committee member Mesuli Kama (ANC) asked about the metro police’s access to CCTV camera coverage in the city’s high-crime areas.
Meanwhile, committee chairperson Reagen Allen (DA) and member Peter Marais (Freedom Front Plus) asked questions about the metro police’s enforcement of City by-laws, particularly around the issue of land invasions.
With respect to City by-laws, metro policing director Robbie Roberts said there were challenges when it came to illegal occupations and they had to be mindful of the Prevention of Illegal Eviction from and Unlawful Occupation of Land (PIE) Act, especially when structures had already been put up.
“We accept that the fight against crime cannot be won by any single entity operating in isolation and therefore place great value and importance on embracing collaborative partnerships with various internal and external role players such as SAPS and many other agencies, including our communities.
“In terms of our proactive crime prevention methodologies, the Cape Town metropolitan police places substantial emphasis on the ’broken window’ approach, thereby striving to progressively limit more serious crimes,” said Roberts.
He said he would love to have more than the 565-officer complement that he currently has, but he saw the LEAP programme as a force multiplier in order to deal with problems in the city and they roped them in when challenges arose.
As for CCTV coverage, he said one of their major challenges was vandalism, but they hoped to expand the network over the next five years to include guidance and advice to neighbourhood watches regarding the installation of cameras.