Minister Allen concludes safety visit to West Coast Region
Between 26 – 29 June 2022, Western Cape Minister of Police Oversight and Community Safety, Reagen Allen conducted safety oversight visits to and had engagements in the Matzikama, Cederberg, Saldanha Bay and Swartland Municipal areas.
These included meetings with relevant safety officials and executives in the Matzikama, Saldanha Bay and Swartland municipalities and unannounced visits to the Vanrhynsdorp, Vredendal, Klawer, Clanwilliam, Citrusdal, Vredenburg, Saldanha Bay and Langebaan SAPS stations; attending the Matzikama Safety Summit in Klawer, a patrol with the Vredenburg Neighbourhood Watch (NHW), where SAPS and CPF members also joined, and joining a Vehicle Checkpoint Operation (VCP) with law enforcement, SAPS and the K9-Unit in Malmesbury.
Minister Allen said: “I’d like to extend my gratitude to all those who robustly engaged us over the past few days. I welcome the passion that was expressed by various quarters for not only a safer West Coast District, but for a safer Western Cape as a whole. I share their drive and desire.”
“I have to express my deep concern about the variety of issues I witnessed at literally all stations across the region. Amongst others these include continued under resourcing at some stations. In certain instances, there were 2 or three officers on duty, when this is significantly lower than what the allocation should be, and vehicles that are parked due to mechanical failures. In addition, there are also stations where officers are unable to engage communities in their mother tongue. One station has not had a generator for the past three months, which means that residents cannot be assisted when they require the police in the evening during loadshedding periods. Holding cells also had a number of challenges and some are not fully functional. All of these concerns are being formulated and will be shared with the SAPS Provincial Commissioner, Lt Gen Thembisile Patekile, so that they can urgently be addressed,” added Minister Allen.
Minister Allen continued: “I’m also deeply concerned that there is not a single accredited NHW structure in the Matzikama area. The Department’s officials are in the process of assisting 6 NHW structures become accredited, so that structured and organised safety efforts are conducted by volunteers in the respective communities. I’ve also committed to in due course return to the Klawer community who highlighted an array of challenges with SAPS and the justice system during the safety summit.”
“I’d like to thank the Vredenburg NHW and all its partners for the patrol we could have. It was particularly pleasing to note that there are also young people who are members of this NHW. The K9-Unit in Malmesbury continues to do sterling work and they are showing how they’re combatting crime not only in the Swartland area, but also across the West Coast District. I’m looking forward to returning to the District to further engage more role players in the safety arena” concluded Minister Allen.