500 law enforcement officers appointed to fight crime in Cape violence hotspots
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Cape Town - The Western Cape government and the City of Cape Town took the first crucial steps in implementing the Western Cape safety plan when the first 500 learner law enforcement officers (LLEOs) signed their employment contracts with the city on Friday.
The first 500 LLEOs would be deployed from February to the communities where they were needed most, Western Cape community safety MEC Albert Fritz and mayoral committee member for safety and security JP Smith said in a joint statement on Sunday.
In their first few months of deployment, the officers would receive an induction which included in-field training to orientate them in the communities where they would be deployed.
Thereafter, they would be operationally deployed, using a data-driven approach to reduce crime. The second group of 500 LLEOs would be appointed by July 2020. Ultimately, the Western Cape safety plan foresaw a total deployment of 3000 officers, the statement said.
“I commend premier [Alan] Winde and mayor [Dan] Plato on their support and leadership. The deployment of the first 500 LLEOs will take place in communities most affected by violence, which is informed by data taken from the top 10 crime hotspots. Through our deployment interventions and targeted violence prevention programmes, the Western Cape Safety Plan aims to halve the murder rate over the next 10 years,” Fritz said in the statement.
“This month, we will further hold the first safety cabinet meeting, which will play a crucial role in outlining and implementing the socio-economic interventions necessary to address the root causes of crime, which will complement the deployment of the additional LLEOs in identified hotspot areas,” he said.
“I am excited to see the roll out of the law enforcement advancement plan, which shows how the City of Cape Town and the Western Cape government can work together in addressing one of our biggest challenges – that of safety on our roads and in our communities," Smith said in the statement.
"More officers on the beat will mean a higher visibility and improving service delivery in our fight against crime. Our responsibility is not only to take criminals off the streets, but also to protect the constitutional rights of our citizen – a right to a safe environment.
"With no clear indication that the South African Police Service [SAPS] will increase resources soon, we will fill the gap and initiate programmes in the interest of public safety. We stay committed to work with all enforcement agencies and communities to ensure effective crime prevention," Smith said.
African News Agency (ANA)