Establishment of Law Enforcement Technical Area Teams on track in the Western Cape
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MEC Albert Fritz says the name of the game is cooperation to fight crime
Cape Town - The Western Cape Department of Community Safety says the establishment of Law Enforcement Technical Area Teams (LETAT), as the first leg of the establishment of Area Based Teams (ABTs) is moving at a quick pace.
LETAT are “local area law enforcement teams”, with role-players having different functions, convened by the police station commanders.
It is a co-ordinating mechanism for law enforcement agencies and their partners at a local, area-based level, with neighbourhood watches and community policing forums participating.
Community Safety MEC Albert Fritz said several agencies and institutions played a role in the precursor to the LETAT, with the first one being established in Bishop Lavis in April, followed by Atlantis, Beaufort West, Delft, Gugulethu, Harare, Khayelitsha, Kraaifontein, Mitchells Plain, Nyanga, Swartland, and Theewaterskloof.
Nyanga Community Policing Forum (CPF) chairperson Martin Makhasi, said the introduction of ABT which has seen deployment of law enforcement officers by the City and the Province to increase police visibility, has assisted brining down the murder rate.
Fritz said collaboration was the name of the game. "The basic methodology was used to great effect in July when the whole country was on high alert for looting."
He said when the threat of looting was averted, they were able to shift focus to the taxi violence and quell that.
"So now we want to localize the same kind of effective collaboration to make our communities safer, and LETAT is the vehicle to do that,” Fritz said.
ANC provincial spokesperson for community safety, Mesuli Kama, said "We need to see the provincial government starting to address the challenge of lack of street lights and CCTV cameras, especially the critical issue of accessibility in our informal settlements."
Kama said all those issues needed to form part of the safety plan, and should not only end with forming area based teams and safety ambassadors.
Fritz said they has taken bold steps in the province's safety space and were working long and hard to make their communities safer for the citizens.