Department of Community Safety hosts Rural Safety Summit:West Coast Municipality
On 3 and 4 October 2022, the Department of Community Safety hosted it’s 2nd Rural Safety Summit and Policing Needs and Priorities (RSSaPNP) engagement in Saldanha Bay, which forms part of the West Coast District Municipality. The West Coast District is one of five District Municipalities where these summits will take place.
The Western Cape Government (WCG) views the safety and security of all communities in the Western Cape as a priority, including that of rural communities. To build on this strategic goal, the Department of Community Safety is working towards improving the wellness and safety of communities in districts and local municipalities.
The Rural Safety Summit addressed:
• The innovative use of rural safety technology
• Collaborative and integrated incident management processes; and
• Discussing the way forward in the District Municipality and reinforcing the Whole-of-Society Approach and the Western Cape Safety Plan.
According to the SAPS Crime Overview for the period 01 April 2021 to 31 August 2022:
• Contact crimes including murder, assault, robbery amongst others increased by 12.33%
• Property related crimes increased by 1.69%
• Other serious crimes including commercial crime and shoplifting increased by 17.37%
To help create safer environments, effective partnerships are needed between the SAPS, Law Enforcement entities, all spheres of government and communities as a united front.
The Policing Needs and Priorities engagement will see the development of a detailed, implementable and agreed upon safety plan at a local level to help improve safety within the West Coast District.
Various stakeholders formed part of the West Coast Rural Safety Summit and PNP, and included the Department of Agriculture, all spheres of Government, Community Police Forums (CPF’s), South African Police Service (SAPS), Farm Watches, Neighbourhood Watches (NHW’s), the West Coast District Municipality Executive Mayor, Alderman Roelof Strydom, Saldanha Bay Executive Mayor, Mr Andre Trutor, Western Cape Police Ombudsman, Major General Oswald Reddy, SAPS Acting District Commander, Major General Dyantyi, Head of Department for Agriculture, Dr Sebopetsa, Head of Department of Community Safety, Adv. Yashina Pillay and Minister for Police Oversight and Community Safety, Reagen Allen.
Western Cape Minister of Police Oversight and Community Safety, Reagen Allen said: ‘The continued engagements with all stakeholders is vital, as we require all hands on deck if we’re to address crime and create a safer Western Cape. By doing this, we’ll be ensuring our residents can live in improved communities and in a dignified manner. My gratitude goes out to all role players who were present over the past two days. Their input and proposals are invaluable.’
These engagements are intended to contribute significantly to the prevention and reduction of violent crime and murders, and greater safety and cohesion in rural areas.
Minister Reagen Allen continued: ‘As criminals and their illicit activities are displaced to rural areas, we have to immediately stop their infiltration. LEAP in the Cape Metro is achieving great success and criminals are now looking for new areas to continue their illegal activities. I’m encouraged to note that every stakeholder agree that it will not be allowed and that we’ll utilise all resources at our disposal to push back against them.’
Minister Reagen Allen added: ‘My deep concern around SAPS’ chronic under resourcing remains, as this service is Constitutionally mandated to serve and protect all of us. It is unfortunate that the National Government continues to fail the dedicated men and women in blue, who are expected to perform miracles without the required resources. Once SAPS is devolved to a capable provincial government such as ours, we’ll ensure these matters are immediately addressed.’
Other RSSaPNP’s are currently being finalised with the next one scheduled for the Garden Route District on 17 – 18 October 2022.
‘I’m looking forward to further engagements not only across the West Coast district, but the entire Western Cape,’ concluded Minister Reagen Allen
The Department will continue to render its services and impact lives to the best of its ability and is committed to creating a Safer Province FOR YOU.
Deputy Director: Communications
Directorate: Strategic Services and Communication
Department of Community Safety
Western Cape Government
Office: + 27 (0)21 483 6689
Cellphone: 082 941 9434