At a cabinet lekgotla in Pretoria this week, Prime Minister Alan Winde delivered the Provincial Police Needs and Priorities (PNP) report, compiled by the Western Cape Ministry of Police Oversight and Community Safety, for fiscal year 2021.
As it was the first lekgotla to be held in person since all COVID-19 restrictions were lifted, the prime minister had the opportunity to deliver the document directly to Police Minister Bheki Cele. “I hope that the Minister will take the time to study the report,” said Prime Minister Winde, “and seriously consider its content and urgently implement its recommendations.”
It is based on the constitutional and legislative obligations imposed on the National Minister of Police and the Provincial Minister of Police Oversight and Community Security.
Minister Reagen Allen said: “Not only is the report a legislative responsibility of my Department, it also helps ensure that we can alert the SAPS to what the real needs are in their domain.”
“You matter, your safety and well-being matter,” the Prime Minister stressed, referring to the residents of the Western Cape. This is why the report is compiled each year to measure successes and gaps in policing overall.
Among the most compelling findings of the PNP report are: The continued biased allocation of police resources, especially in the poorest neighborhoods; Gender violence, substance abuse and gangsterism continue to be some of the most serious problems affecting Western Cape communities.
Among the recommendations contained in the report to solve some of these problems include: Renew and modify the formula used by SAPS to assign displays at the station level; All SAPS members must be adequately trained on how to handle GBV cases; A harm reduction policing approach is needed to address substance abuse; The SAPS Anti-Gang Unit must be better able to conduct intelligence-driven operations; Confiscated firearms must be destroyed more regularly.
Closer collaboration between the Police Service and other law enforcement entities, such as the Law Enforcement Promotion Plan (LEAP), an initiative of the Western Cape Government and the City of Cape Town, endorses all of these recommendations, as well as basing crime-fighting strategies on data.
and evidence The Prime Minister said: “As a Provincial Government, together with the City and our other partners in the fight against crime, we are doing everything we can to make communities safer and give citizens back their dignity and hope.” .
He added: “Our interventions are clearly working.”
According to the latest quarterly crime statistics, there was a drop of more than 8% in murders in the areas of Cape Town where LEAP was implemented.
Minister Allen continued: “This report provides SAPS with factual information so that, as a national entity, it can deploy resources where and how they are required.
The SAPS implementation cannot continue in the same way.
Sanity is required and the Minister of the National Police must act immediately.” Last month, the Prime Minister had the opportunity to interact with members of the community as he accompanied a group of LEAP officers on a patrol in Bonteheuwel.
He recalled: “Several residents came out of their homes to tell us about the good work LEAP members are doing.
But more needs to be done.
Minister Cele must take the PNP’s recommendations seriously.
More importantly, he must listen to ordinary citizens affected by crime.” The provincial government has a constructive relationship with the Western Cape Police Commissioner, Major General Thembisile Patekile.
“Our problem is not with the working women and men of the South African Police Service who risk their safety on a daily basis,” the Prime Minister and Minister Allen emphasized, “we intend to build on this relationship in the interest of better policing.
Prime Minister Winde concluded: “The biggest impediment to this is Minister Cele, who doesn’t seem to realize that many communities continue to live in fear.
To date we have seen low compliance with the PNPs we issue, and this must change.
We will continue to monitor closely in the interest of the safety of our residents.”