W Cape to intensify fight against violent crime, alcohol abuse

Friday, March 31, 2017

Cape Town – The Department of Community Safety in the Western Cape says it will intensify its fight against violent crime and alcohol abuse in the province, MEC Dan Plato announced on Thursday.

According to the department, it has appointed additional liquor inspectors at the Western Cape Liquor Authority, additional staff allocations of the Provincial Police Ombudsman to the tune of R1.5 million, as well as funding of R3.3 million provided for the Extended Public Works Programme (EPWP) conditional grant allocation.

MEC Plato also promised to open opportunities for youth and disadvantaged communities.

“The Department has managed to ensure, through Provincial Treasury’s R7.6 million, that the modular youth development programme aimed primarily at youth recruited from rural areas remain available.

“A commitment we made during last year’s budget address and I thank the Department and Provincial Treasury for prioritising our lost generation, the youth, in our province in this way,” he said.

He said the department aims to promote professional policing through effective oversight, promote safety at all public buildings and spaces, establish viable safety partnerships within communities, and reduce alcohol related harms.

“We will continue to hold the police accountable in the interest of the communities they serve.

“Key to this is the mandated station oversight visits administering the National Monitoring Tool and monitoring SAPS compliance with the implementation of its obligations in terms of the Domestic Violence Act,” MEC Plato said.

MEC Plato also expressed his unhappiness about the low conviction rate in the province, promising to take action to change the situation.

“I will call for an urgent meeting with the Police leadership and the [National Prosecuting Authority] to address the issue.

“We cannot allow hundreds of murderers, rapists and criminals not seeing their day in court,” he said.

For instance, the department recently pointed out that conviction for gang related crimes stands at 3%.

The MEC also said two of the main priorities for the Department of Community Safety in 2017/18 in promoting safety at all public buildings and public spaces is to help address the increase in attacks on Emergency Medical Services and the safety of learners at schools in the most violence prone areas.

“The Department of Community Safety, Education and Health have been in regular consultation to develop a strategic approach which is simple yet deals with the complex safety threats the different organisations face.

“We are in the final stages and will be revealing our response efforts, in cooperation with local government and law enforcement entities like the police, in the next coming weeks. The Security Support Team, with other safety partners, will play an integral role in its focussed support at prioritised schools during the 2017/18 financial year,” he said.

The department said it would prioritise high-risk areas during the June and December/January school holidays including: Nyanga, Gugulethu, Paarl-East, Villiersdorp, Saldanha Bay, Delft, Mfuleni, Kraaifontein, Mitchell’s Plain, Khayelitsha, Philippi-East, Bishop Lavis, Manenberg, Imizamo Yethu and Masiphumelele.

The MEC also appealed to Western Cape residents to work with police in fighting crime, emphasizing that safety is everyone’s responsibility. – SAnews.gov.za-TLM

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