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'Outdated' crime intervention methods slammed for failing to curb violence on the Cape Flats

Acting Community Safety MEC Anroux Marais said the department was doing its best to address safety in violence-stricken communities. Picture: Ayanda Ndamane/African News Agency

Acting Community Safety MEC Anroux Marais said the department was doing its best to address safety in violence-stricken communities. Picture: Ayanda Ndamane/African News Agency

Published Apr 6, 2022

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Cape Town - With the umpteenth mass killing, this time in Delft where three people were shot dead, the local community policing forum (CPF) has slammed the police, the City’s Safety and Security Directorate and the Department of Community Safety for their alleged stagnant and outdated approach to addressing crime trends in local communities.

Over the past few days, a local crime watch group, Spot on Crime and Emergencies, reported several violent incidents that showcased the grim reality facing local communities.

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Delft CPF chairperson Charles George said that as long as the government and police refused to respond to crime, using innovative and current crime prevention tactics, local communities would remain the playing ground for violent criminals.

George was speaking in response to the recent shooting of three men in Jerusalem informal settlement in Delft South on Sunday night.

The triple murder is being investigated by Delft detectives who have launched a manhunt for the gunmen.

“I can guarantee that you will be calling me again next week to ask what happened in Delft after another mass killing. The cycle continues because our police and government are not willing to listen to us, or to change their tactics when it comes to policing local communities,” George said.

“The government, with their police force, is always three steps behind the criminals, and is refusing to adapt to the changing times. Tell me why the police are not making use of technology to combat crime?

“Why are we still having conversations about CCTV cameras, live crime apps, and the use of drones? Why haven’t these interventions that were first mentioned years ago not been implemented? The government and its police force are sitting on resources and capabilities at the expense of vulnerable citizens.”

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The City’s Safety and Security Directorate responded that it had dedicated policing resources for some of Cape Town’s most notorious policing precincts, including Delft.

Mayco member for safety and security JP Smith said: “In Delft, Law Enforcement Advancement Plan (Leap) officers have made consistent and impressive arrests, and confiscated firearms.

“The criminal justice system is what is failing Delft residents and the greater Cape community. Also, the inadequate numbers of police officers from the SAPS assigned to areas such as Delft will be worsened by the national government’s budget cuts for the SAPS over the next three years.

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“Inadequate detectives deployed at local police stations also exacerbate the situation. And also, it’s how prosecutors and the courts handle cases, resulting in low conviction rates. This is why we believe it would be better if the SAPS was removed from the control of the national government,” Smith said.

Acting Community Safety MEC Anroux Marais said the department was doing its best to address safety in violence-stricken communities.

Police spokesperson Novela Potelwa said the police had discovered that several factors could be behind the shooting incidents.

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“This prompted the police to develop a multi-pronged intervention strategy that takes into account the uniqueness of each affected community. The intervention approach entails community engagements, bolstering policing resources, intelligence-driven integrated operations, targeted investigations, the rooting out of corrupt police officials, and the optimal utilisation of a contingent of police officials coming from other provinces as force multipliers,” she said.

Spot on Crime and Emergencies, reported that:

  • On Thursday, March 31, Hanover Park residents discovered the body of an unidentified man in Old Weltevreden Road.
  • On Friday morning, April 1, residents in Hanover Park reported that two men had been shot and injured in Surdown Road.
  • On Saturday morning, April 2, Mitchells Plain residents living in Lost City reported multiple gunshots in Stacy Crescent Lost City.

Later that afternoon, Belhar residents reported a shooting incident in Edison drive, Belhar. One man was shot in the head and killed.

Shortly after Hanover Park residents reported a shooting incident in Blinkwater Court. A few hours before that residents in Algoa Court in Hanover Park had reported incidents of stone-throwing and gunfire.

On Saturday night, April 2, Lavender Hill residents living in Hillview reported multiple gunshots in West Street. Simultaneously, Bonteheuwel residents also reported gunshots in Bramble Way.

On Sunday, April 3, Delft residents reported multiple gunshots in Beethoven Street. On Sunday afternoon, Uitsig residents reported a shooting incident in Bloemhof Court.

On Monday, April 4, Wesbank residents reported multiple gunshots in Norwood Street, Delft.

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Cape Argus

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