South Africa

NEWSFLASH

‘Put your shoulder to the wheel,’ Cele urges 197 cops sent to Cape crime hotspots

Minister of Police General Bheki Cele inspects the parade of additional South African Police Service officials deployed to the Western Cape on 7 April 2021. The National Crime Combating Forum has deployed additional officers to selected areas due to the gradual increase of violent crimes. (Photo by Gallo Images/Brenton Geach)

In the last three months of 2020 the Western Cape recorded a 11.2% increase in reported murders over the same period the previous year. On Wednesday, Police Minister Bheki Cele was in Belhar where 197 extra officers were deployed to the areas flagged for the most contact crimes.

Crime in the Western Cape “remains stubborn”, Police Minister Bheki Cele has warned 197 additional SAPS officials who have been sent to the province’s crime hotspots. 

Speaking in Belhar, Cape Town on Wednesday, he told the officials they were the most valuable resource to reduce crime.

Additional deployed members of the South African Police Services (SAPS) at the parade inspection by the Minister of Police on April 07, 2021, in Cape Town, South Africa. (Photo by Gallo Images/Brenton Geach)

“It’s important that everyone puts their shoulder to the wheel to make sure that the people of this place also enjoy peace,” he added.

The latest quarterly crime statistics – released in February 2021 and covering October and December 2020 – showed a 11.2% increase in murders reported in the Western Cape, compared with 6.6% nationally.

Between October and December 2019 there were 1,020 murders reported in the Western Cape. In the same period last year there were 1,134. 

Additional deployed members of the South African Police Services at the parade inspection by Police Minister Bheki Cele on 7 April 2021 in Cape Town. (Photo by Gallo Images/Brenton Geach)

To address this the 197 officials have been deployed to the Khayelitsha, Delft, Kraaifontein, Nyanga, Harare and Philippi East precincts. These areas are in the top 30 police stations that reported the most contact crimes across the country. Contact crimes include murder, attempted murder, aggravated robbery and sexual offences. 

At the time Cele said the statistics exposed gaps in certain policing categories, along with policing shortcomings in certain provinces. 

The National Crime Combating Forum has deployed additional officers to selected areas due to the gradual increase of violent crimes. (Photo by Gallo Images/Brenton Geach)

When the latest crime statistics were released, Community Safety MEC Albert Fritz said the numbers were “deeply concerning” and called on Cele to address underresourced police stations in the areas where most contact crimes were reported. DM

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