MEC Fritz quizzed over competence, sophistication of Western Cape Safety Plan
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Cape Town - Opposition parties in the provincial legislature have quizzed Community Safety MEC Albert Fritz about the competence and sophistication of his department and the provincial safety plan’s role in decreasing crime, specifically murder, on the Cape Flats.
ACDP MPL Ferlon Christians got the ball rolling with a question to Fritz about whether the department’s intelligence on crime was as sophisticated as the intelligence gangsters seem to have to help them stay a step ahead of law enforcement.
“The gangsters know where you have deployed visible policing and all they do is move to the next soft target. The gangsters clearly also have an integrated approach to crime. Is your intelligence as sophisticated and can it pick up where the gangsters will strike next?”
He asked what interventions had led to the decrease in the crime rate in Nyanga and whether the same interventions could be implemented in other townships, particularly in Delft.
Fritz said: “The downward spiral in crime in Nyanga is observed as a positive sign that we are on the right track with our interventions. The Department has put in place several measures under the auspices of the Western Cape Safety Plan to eradicate crime hotspots in the Western Cape.
“In partnership with the City, the department launched the Law Enforcement Advancement Programme (Leap) in February 2020, which resulted in the deployment of the first phase of Law Enforcement Officers in Nyanga as part of the first group of stations.
“The interventions implemented in Nyanga have already been implemented in other townships, including Delft. The criteria used to identify the hot spots are based on data sourced from the Department of Health, area profiles and the SAPS data.”
Fritz said his department had worked closely with all law enforcement agencies, neighbourhood watches, faith-based organisations and other partners
The ANC accused Fritz and the DA-led province of being quick to deflect criticism for their failures to national government and even quicker to take the credit for things such as the reduction of the crime rate in Nyanga, without acknowledging the prominent role played by SAPS and national government.
ANC chief whip Pat Lekker said Fritz’s reply to the question refused to acknowledge the significant role of the CPF and its implementation of social crime prevention projects in helping decrease crime in Nyanga. She said Fritz had withheld information.
“It is almost 18 months since the ANC sat with then police commissioner Yolisa Matakata to discuss crime in the province.
Matakata said then there was a significant increase in murders in Delft and Khayelitsha while there was a significant decrease in Nyanga as a precinct
“The decrease of the murder rate in Nyanga is directly due to the SAPS anti-gang strategy and other SAPS operations while the CPF also played a major role.”