Cape Town - Community Safety MEC Reagen Allen has slammed the attack on Law Enforcement Advancement Plan (Leap) officers in Hanover Park when residents allegedly tried to help a gunman escape.
The attack on New Year’s Day at the taxi terminus resulted in three vehicles being damaged.
Allen said the officers managed to rearrest the suspect despite the hindering actions of residents.
“I am deeply disturbed that three Leap vehicles were damaged over the weekend in Hanover Park. While Leap officers were arresting a suspect, it is alleged that certain community members attacked the officers and subsequently damaged their vehicles in an attempt to free the suspect. Although initially successful, he was rearrested.
“Unfortunately, these vehicles are now out of commission and unable to be used in crime-fighting efforts in an area where they are much-needed.”
Law enforcement spokesperson Wayne Dyason confirmed the suspect was arrested on a charge of illegal possession of a firearm and said unruly residents stoned the state vehicles.
Allen said an investigation into the attack was under way and those involved could face criminal charges.
“The community members who allegedly participated in this lawless act should know that they have made themselves guilty of interference and obstructed officers of the law in executing their duties.
“Investigations are under way and where a case can be made against anyone complicit, the law will have to take its course,” he said.
“Hanover Park is an area that is plagued by gang violence, and which we are committed to servicing by actively addressing crime. This is part of the reason why we have increased our Leap deployment, and the City of Cape Town has also ensured that additional law enforcement agencies are present in the area.
“I urge law-abiding community members to provide us with information about who allegedly participated in this lawless act, so that they can be arrested.”