The Western Cape is expecting an influx of police resources ahead of the holiday season. Some residents of crime-ridden areas, however, are sceptical that the additional boots on the ground will have a long-term impact.
During the launch of the South African Police Service Safer Festive Season campaign this week in Cape Town, Police Minister Bheki Cele stated that there were over 10,000 recruits. The programme has already begun in four provinces.
More than 1000 of those recruits are expected to join the police force in the Western Cape. In addition, patrol vehicles had been deployed to patrol the areas surrounding the Cape Flats, according to Cele.
Vrygrond and Dunoon in Cape Town, as well as Zwelihle in Hermanus, are getting mobile community service centres.
“This display of force should serve as a warning shot to criminals, but it should also demonstrate this ministry’s and SAPS management’s commitment to support [and] improve police service delivery,” Cele said.
“We want this in all provinces because it will allow police to continue to respond to all opportunistic criminal elements, not just during the holiday season but throughout the year,” the minister added.
“Details of the full plan will be made public soon,” Smith said. “As is customary, specific areas of focus will include road safety, increased patrols around popular destinations such as malls, beaches, and other public amenities, and also fire safety, given that Cape Town experiences an increase in vegetation fires during the warmer months.”
“We are encouraged that more boots are being deployed on the ground, but the community must also work to repair itself from within. We thank the minister, but we need more boots on the ground and more intervention when it comes to crime “He stated.
“During the holiday season, criminality and lawlessness are rampant. We must be cautious and vigilant in our communities because the deployed police officers will not be with us indefinitely. Deployment should be concentrated on the Cape Flats, where it is most needed, rather than on beaches where people go for fun.”
Reagen Allen, MEC for Police Oversight and Community Safety in the Western Cape, stated that increased police visibility is the first step in combating crime.
According to Bongani Maqungwana, spokesperson for the Samora Machel Community Policing Forum (CPF), the additional deployment was desperately needed, especially since crime in the Western Cape appeared to be on the rise.