Cape Town - Premier Alan Winde and Community Safety MEC Albert Fritz have both expressed confidence in the next cohort of 250 LEAP (Law Enforcement Advancement Programme) officers to be deployed in next month.
In preparation for the festive season, Winde and Fritz visited the Muizenberg Training College, where the officers received training and would join officers already deployed in communities, increasing the number to 1 000.
The new cohort of officers will be deployed to crime hot spots that include Atlantis, Philippi East and Samora Machel.
Winde said the officers would bolster the numbers of police officers, and that LEAP was a critical component of the provincial governments’ efforts to halve the murder rate by 2029.
“Of the 152 police stations in the province, only 10 make up 50% of the murders, so if you focus on these areas that have the most murders you should be able to reduce them drastically. Violence prevention is about understanding the data and getting it to work better.
“We use data in fighting Covid-19, but what about the crime data? It takes too long to get crime statistics, so we need to have data systems in place so that we can react quickly. We need to have management systems in place and build partnerships.
“For me its exciting that this Leap programme is a partnership between the City and the province but its much more of a partnership when you visit the police stations that have the deployment of the Leap service,” said Winde.
Winde said station commanders in police precincts are welcoming the support that they are receiving from the officers.
“The first pilot project we ran was in Bonteheuwel with the safety officers, where they managed to reduce the gang violence by 300%, so the programme makes a difference and we are now focusing on hot spots,” he said.
Fritz said LEAP officers deployed in different areas were already making tremendous strides in making communities feel safer.
From February 2020 to date the LEAP officers have managed to remove 108 firearms and 773 ammunition, while 3 688 arrests were made.
The total number of arrests made for drugs currently stands at 2004, 11 730 houses and 314 453 suspects were searched, while 4 438 shebeens were inspected and 736 closed.
“We are elated with the group and the programme as part of the Western Cape Safety and specifically now with the festive season approaching, where we have already seen a spike in the gangster violence. This is going to help tremendously with safety over the festive season,” said Fritz.