MEC Fritz welcomes reports on visible policing activities driven by the Province
Today, the Minister of Community Safety, Albert Fritz, welcomes reports on LEAP and Western Cape Liquor Authority enforcement activities, both of which are driven by the provincial government.
In Bonteheuwel this morning, LEAP Officers were patrolling in Loganberry Street around 01:05 when they noticed a suspicious individual who was in contravention of the Disaster Management Act regulations around curfew. When the individual noticed the officers, he threw something into one of the yards. After stopping the individual and requesting permission to search, officers discovered a prohibited firearm in the yard. The suspect was arrested and is presently in custody.
In an unrelated incident, a tip-off was received from an off-duty SAPS officer about an individual playing with a firearm in a train carriage, thereby making other commuters feel unsafe. The off-duty officer gave a description of the suspect in the train carriage. Officers briefed in Wallacedene and arrived at the Kraaifontein Station in 11th Avenue. While on the platform, officers noticed the suspect looking in and out of the carriage, approached him and requested permission to search him, whereupon a firearm was discovered for which the suspect could not account. The suspect was read his rights and arrested.
In terms of the report on last week, over a seven-day period, LEAP Officers carried out a total of 7216 person-searches, including 1162 in Nyanga, 1025 in Mitchells Plain, 712 in Kraaifontein and 680 in Delft. A total of 329 houses were searched, with a total of 979 vehicles searched. 252 inspections were conducted at on-site consumption liquor outlets, of which 115 were by the reaction unit. LEAP also conducted 131 joint operations with SAPS.
Over the seven-day period, 95 people were arrested, and a number of dangerous weapons and drugs confiscated, including 114 full mandrax tablets, 106 packets dagga packets, 284 packets of tik, and more.
Minister Fritz said, “visible policing is the name of the game. I am very happy that the presence of our officers is being felt by criminals. Visible policing is very much about perception: the story that so-and-so was arrested for being in possession of an illegal firearm will spread in the community, and then would-be criminals will think twice about possessing illegal firearms going forward. And this is happening all the time, so the perception of police presence is being established and reinforced all the time. And, of course, our citizens feel safer when there is a law enforcement presence around. So it is really positive news.”
The Western Cape Liquor Authority has also been hard at work in enforcement operations. Last week, a total of 209 inspections were carried out, with 63 inspections focused on underage drinking. 23 compliance notices were issued, with 18 non-compliance cases submitted for prosecution and 8 license holders prosecuted for possible contraventions of the Act and/or license conditions. There were also nine operations conducted with other law enforcement agencies such as SAPS and LEAP.
Minister Fritz continued, “again, it is a matter of reinforcing the perception that if you break the law, there will be consequences. This is achieved through visible policing. We will continue pushing this, as we are doing it really well. At the same time, we must draw attention again to the call to give the Province more policing responsibility. We can assist the SAPS in a far greater manner in the fight against crime. Why stop us?”
Minister Fritz concluded, “I would like to thank all officials involved in all of our enforcement operations. You do amazing work towards making our communities safer; towards making our citizens feel safer!”