A platoon of 58 Learner Law Enforcement Officers (LLEO), seven inspectors and a senior inspector, have officially been deployed in Hanover Park as part of the Law Enforcement Advancement Plan (LEAP). LEAP is a joint initiative between the City of Cape Town’s Safety and Security Directorate and the Western Cape Provincial Government.
The newly deployed officers will enforce by-laws and assist enforcement agencies with crime prevention, which will include stop and searches and house searches in conjunction with the South African Police Service.
The plan will ultimately see the deployment of 500 officers into the ranks of the City’s enforcement agencies and already 344 officers, excluding senior officers, have been deployed in suburbs such as Delft, Khayelitsha, Nyanga, Bishop Lavis and Philippi.
‘The officers have already made an impact in the areas where they have been deployed and we are confident that this programme will continue to help keep communities safer. While safety is the primary responsibility of the South African Police Service (SAPS), the City continues to contribute to filling the gaps left by inadequate police resources. The officers are deployed in areas where assistance is most needed,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security, Alderman JP Smith.
The operational concept includes a visible enforcement presence, relationship-building with residents, businesses and key community structures, information-gathering on crime patterns and key areas of concern, as well as working with other enforcement agencies.
‘Officers will visit schools, businesses and go door-to-door to build essential relationships with their communities. The officers will not just fight crime, but they will be there as a visible deterrent and provide a faster response to crimes or anti-social behaviour. The residents of Hanover Park should know that they can turn to the officers when they need assistance in making their community safer,’ said Alderman Smith.
MEC Albert Fritz, who joined Alderman Smith in Hanover Park, welcomed the deployment of the officers and said it would be accompanied by a range of violence prevention interventions aimed at halving the murder in the province over the next 10 years.
‘I particularly wish to welcome the 60 officers appointed through the Western Cape Safety Plan who have since quelled the latest spate of gang-related violence in Hanover Park. The LLEOs have been deployed to assist SAPS in a joint operation. It must be noted that violence and gangsterism has no place in our society and we do not tolerate or condone it. I have called on residents to report known criminal elements who disrupt the safety of their community.
‘The Law Enforcement effort as seen here today will be closely linked with a comprehensive Violence Prevention component. Violence Prevention is about working together with all role-players, including parents, schools, NGOs, faith based organisations and local government to ensure that we permanently stop the violence plaguing our communities from happening in the first place. We will work with young people to ensure that they have access to different kinds of opportunities that will show them a path away from violence, apathy and possible gang influence and involvement. In the coming months we will work together with SAPS, LEAP, and Law Enforcement to implement this integrated violence prevention interventions on a sustained basis,’ added Minister Fritz.