CAPE TOWN – Community Policing Forums said gang violence has stabilised following the deployment of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF).
Police seem to back this up by saying the murder rate in the Western Cape has declined drastically since soldiers started assisting them in July.
However, the premier’s office has questioned where the data was derived from since it had not been provided with quarterly crime stats.
This is significantly lower than the average of more than 70 per week between April 2018 and March this year.
Police have not been able to share detailed statistics with Eyewitness News, but Community Policing Forums (CPFs) said they have seen an improvement.
The Mitchells Plain CPF chairperson Abie Isaacs said: “We observed that there has been a decrease in some of the high priority crimes. We have a strong partnership with the police station and we get feedback on the crimes.”
But Bishop Lavis CPF’s Graham Lindhorst said: “The army has not made an impact in the area because they’re not there permanently, in a week you’d see them for a maximum of two hours in the area for an entire week.”
The Bishop Lavis Community Policing Forum also wants authorities held accountable for apparently taking too long to implement safety and security measures.
The CPF has threatened to take the police service and City of Cape Town to court.
Since July, the army has been assisting police in areas like Bonteheuwel and Bishop Lavis.
At the same, time the city also deployed a Bonteheuwel’s Neighbourhood Safety Team which comprises a hundred law enforcement officers.
Authorities said those initiatives resulted in only two murders in Bontheuwel over the past three months, down from 44 in the previous six months.
However, Lindhorst said these types of measures should have been implemented years ago.
“I’m looking to go for a class suit to get these people responsible because it seems they could’ve made resources available but they were reluctant.”
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