Cape Town – Bishop Lavis Community Policing Forum chairperson Graham Lindhorst disputes Bonteheuwel councillor Angus Mckenzie's claims of a "miracle of transformation" in the area.
Bonteheuwel, which is part of the Bishop Lavis precinct, has marked 100 days after the deployment of 100 Neighbourhood Safety Team officers in the area.
Trumpeting about the alleged wave of change brought about by the deployment of the safety team, with the assistance of residents, Mckenzie said on social media yesterday that gang-related murders in the Bonteheuwel area have reduced to "near nothing over the last 100 days".
Lindhorst told the Cape Times on Wednesday: "We have had two gang-related murders over the weekend in Bonteheuwel and a few others recently.
"I hear Angus Mckenzie continuously saying there is peace but we know there are still shootings going on around there, robberies and muggings.
"He has klapped me several times for not praising his Neighbourhood Safety Team, but I said it cannot be expected when you bring in a safety team that crime would go down."
Gangs were "just waiting to see what the modus operandi of the Neighbourhood Safety Team is and they take the gap as soon as they get it, because they have their own targets as well", Lindhorst said.
Mckenzie yesterday referred to a "community once held hostage by gangsters and gang activity and crippled in fear by the sound of bullets ringing all day every day", experiencing a "miracle of transformation".
"Today, 100 days after the deployment of 100 Law Enforcement officers to the Bonteuheuwel area places of worship are once again functioning, business is thriving, children can walk freely to school and back and our streets are now filled with cries of laughter rather than tears of pain."
Lindhorst believes a Neighbourhood Safety Team "helps increase police visibility in the area and in that sense it's good, but it's only helping where they are because they cannot be everywhere every time. It's the big issue of our areas – there is not enough police to police the entire area".
"What they are doing is subduing crime in one area and displacing it to another area."
Lindhorst was also concerned that there has been a rise in sexual offences in the Bishop Lavis precinct.
Bonteheuwel community activist Henriette Abrahams also believes the Neighbourhood Safety Team hasn't had much of an effect, telling the Cape Argus: “Even though we have seen a decrease in our murder rate in our area, we still have a situation where we find a displacement of crime."
Abrahams said there had been an increase in robberies, smash-and-grabs at traffic intersections, and knife attacks rather than shootings.
“The officers are also not as visible as they were during July after their deployment,” Abrahams said.
“These people work office hours and have a few operations over mainly weekends, but not in the late night and early morning, when crime is taking place.”