The Minister of Police Bheki Cele welcomed 197 Police members during a parade held at 35 Squadron in Delft. These officers will assist the police to combat crime in various parts of the province. Picture: Henk Kruger/African News Agency(ANA)
The Minister of Police Bheki Cele welcomed 197 Police members during a parade held at 35 Squadron in Delft. These officers will assist the police to combat crime in various parts of the province. Picture: Henk Kruger/African News Agency(ANA)

Concern over ’temporary solution’ to violent crime in Western Cape

By Okuhle Hlati Time of article published Apr 8, 2021

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Cape Town - COMMUNITY leaders have expressed concerns that the deployment of 200 additional SAPS members from other provinces is only a temporary solution to combat violent crimes in the Western Cape.

The personnel comprising VISPOL, detectives, crime analysts and others have been deployed as well as 50 vehicles to crime hotspots Kraaifontein, Khayelitsha, Delft, Mfuleni, Nyanga and the Philippi East.

They will focus on crimes including gang violence, revenge killings and taxi-related violence.

According to the acting provincial police commissioner, Thembekile Patekile, the team started working last month and will be “in full swing now”.

Launching the unit yesterday in Belhar, Police Minister Bheki Cele joined by his deputy Cassel Mathale and other top cops, said while crime was seasonal it remained stubborn in the province.

“Violent crime issues, murders, gender-based violence and gangsterism related incidents have highly increased. More than 50 people got killed over the long weekend and more than 100 throughout the week.”

Cele yesterday wouldn't divulge the budget or costs spent on the deployment, saying it would be tabled in Parliament.

Delft Community Policing Forum (CPF) chairperson Reggie Maart said: “This seems like it will be the same as the stabilisation unit that was deployed for a few months. This raises flags everywhere, how will these vehicles be divided among our communities because most stations need such resources. Also if the province police are short staffed and this is not a long term deployment, then it means we go back to square one. We all have these questions that our communities will be asking and won’t have answers because we were not involved.”

Kraaifontein CPF head John Smidt said over the years people were temporarily deployed and withdrawn, and it was something they don’t want again.

“Violent crimes in our communities are not new, many operations come and go. We need permanent solutions such as a second police station, something we have been demanding for years. We look forward to seeing how this deployment will change our areas.”

Cape Times

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