File picture: Independent Media

Cape Town – The City of Cape Town is planning to establish neighbourhood safety teams (NST) in 10 of the most crime affected police precincts.

Mayco member for safety and security JP Smith, said once they have budget approval they would proceed with the recruitment of 90 – 120 new officers for the first NST with perhaps a second in this coming financial year.

The new law enforcement officers will be deployed in 10 of the most crime affected areas such as Ocean View, Hanover Park and Manenberg.

Smith said this will allow the city to offer relief from gang violence in a sustainable way which was not possible in the past.

“I worked from 6 pm to 4 am on Friday with the Gang and Drug Task Team, the Stabilisation Unit and Law Enforcement Liquor Unit in Ocean View, Hanover Park, Manenberg and elsewhere,”said Smith.

During the random search operations in Hanover Park and Manenberg on Friday, law enforcement officials arrested nine people for illegal firearms and drugs.

“After 2am we responded to Shotspotter alerts in Hanover Park and Manenberg when shooting started."

“On our arrival a woman was lying next to the road with two head wounds and the ambulance had to be escorted in at 3:30am, as it would not enter gang areas without police escort.”

Smith said the atmosphere was very tense and the dedicated officers he was with finished 22 straight hours of work when they clocked out at the end.

He said they will continue with ongoing operations by the city’s various agencies to ensure that drugs and illegal firearms are kept off the streets.

“At Ivy Court in Ocean View a drug raid revealed five adults and a 2 – 3 year-old baby. The apartment revealed signs of extensive drug use."

“I reported the matter to the Department of Social Development as the officers felt that there were breaches of the Children’s Act which required formal legal action to protect the child.”

On Monday at least 400 people from across Cape Town took to the street marching against killing of police officers in Gugulethu. Police union, Sapu, lead the march chanting freedom songs.

Smith said in the last 10 years they have lost 872 police officials while the conviction rate is almost nothing.

If the ratio of police to members of the public is 1:362 then that means 315 664 people have been left without police protection.

Cape Argus