LEAP Officers continues to flex their muscle
Western Cape Minister of Police Oversight and Community Safety, Reagen Allen says between 4 April 2022 – 29 May 2022, Law Enforcement Advancement Plan (LEAP) officers have been tackling crime head-on in the 14 police precincts where they are deployed.
These precincts are in locations of which 10 areas form part of the top 10 murder areas in the Western Cape. These include areas such as Delft, Gugulethu, Harare, Khayelitsha (Site B policing precinct), Kraaifontein, Mfuleni, Mitchells Plain, Nyanga, Philippi East, and Samora Machel. The other high crime areas where they are deployed to, are Atlantis, Bishop Lavis and Hanover Park, and recently Lavender Hill, Steenberg and Grassy Park.
These placements are strategic and backed by evidence and data. For a number of years, Nyanga’s been known as the murder capital of South Africa. In fact, between the 2010/11 financial year, up to 2018/19, Nyanga was atop the list where the most murders occurred in the country. Backed by this data and evidence, the first LEAP deployment in 2020, became a priority for this area. LEAP has made significant inroads in the area and for the first time in a number of years, Nyanga had a reduction in its murder rate for four consecutive quarters during the entire 2021/22 financial year. Gugulethu who was a regular on the list of top 30 murder stations across the country is no longer there. These, along with other successes are directly linked to the strategic deployment of LEAP officers.
To become even more effective in the deployment of LEAP, the Western Cape Government recently launched its Safety Dashboard. This dashboard will provide real-time data to provincial safety stakeholders and will help identify exactly where the LEAP officers are mostly required. The dashboard is updated every 3 days and is being automated to further provide daily updates. This strengthens our hand to anticipate where new hotspots may appear so that we can deploy the necessary resources - before lives are lost. The Emergency Medical Services data will also be integrated with the Safety Dashboard, to provide us with a more complete picture of violence and trauma in the province.
During 4 April 2022 – 29 May 2022, LEAP officers have amongst others:
• Searched 70 629 persons
These searches helped ensure that 953 arrests could be executed. Thirty-one were for the possession of an illegal firearm, 35 for the possession of illegal ammunition, 14 for the possession of an imitation firearm, 747 for the possession of drugs and 126 for the possession of dangerous weapons. Confiscations occurred in the various areas where LEAP is deployed.
As LEAP officers work with a multitude of law enforcement agencies, they conducted 1 102 Integrated operations with other City of Cape Town Law Enforcement Agencies and SAPS.
Minister Allen said: “The consistent efforts of the LEAP officers and being the extra boots on the ground, demonstrates the importance of visible policing. This is one of the most effective methods in combatting crime.”
“I commend these men and women for their tireless efforts, as it is clearly helping to address crime in certain areas. We have a long way to go, especially since our ultimate goal is to reduce the murder rate by 50% in 2029,” added Minister Allen.
Minister Allen concluded: “LEAP would never be able to combat crime by themselves, and therefore I urge all sectors of society to join us and create safer communities. By doing this and continuing to work together, we’ll be able to achieve greater success.”