September sees LEAP Officers secure over 550 arrests
Between 5 September 2022 and 2 October 2022, Law Enforcement Advancement Plan (LEAP) officers have continued to make steady strides in removing criminals off the streets. During this period, LEAP officers ensured that 553 persons were arrested for various crimes. LEAP is an initiative of the Western Cape Government (WCG) and is run in partnership with the City of Cape Town.
These officers are deployed where they can make the biggest difference in turning around negative crime statistics, including in our top 10 murder areas in the Western Cape. This includes Delft, Gugulethu, Harare, Khayelitsha (Site B policing precinct), Kraaifontein, Mfuleni, Mitchells Plain, Nyanga, Philippi East, and Samora Machel. Other high crime areas in which they are deployed are Atlantis, Bishop Lavis and Hanover Park, and recently Lavender Hill, Steenberg and Grassy Park.
These placements are backed by evidence and data. The 1st quarter (Apr – June 2022) crime statistics show that while murder increased by 11.5% in the country when compared with the same period in the 2021/22 financial year, there’s been an 8,2% reduction in the murder rate during the same period at stations where the LEAP officers are currently deployed.
LEAP has also started incorporating the Western Cape Government’s Safety Dashboard. This dashboard is providing real-time data to provincial safety stakeholders and helps identify exactly where the LEAP officers are most required. This strengthens our hand in anticipating where new hotspots may appear so that we can deploy the necessary resources - before crime is committed and lives are lost. The Emergency Medical Services data is also being integrated with the Safety Dashboard, to provide us with a more complete picture of violence and trauma in the province.
During 5 September 2022 and 2 October 2022, LEAP officers have amongst others:
- Searched 29 406 persons
- Searched 1 107 houses
- Conducted 4 714 patrols in hotspot areas
- Conducted 362 roadblocks
- Searched 3 207 vehicles
Of the 553 persons that were arrested, 11 were for the possession of an illegal firearm, 18 for the possession of illegal ammunition, 15 for the possession of an imitation firearm, 335 for the possession of drugs and 62 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 685 integrated operations with other City of Cape Town Law Enforcement Agencies and SAPS.
Minister Allen said: “These arrests, confiscations and successes are dedicated to the memory of 23-year-old LEAP officer Alessandro Heynes, who was tragically shot on 29 September and died in hospital a few days later. At the time of the incident, officer Heynes was off-duty and in the process of transporting someone home after a friend’s matric ball. It is with his memory in mind that I commend our LEAP officers for their continued bravery and commitment to ridding our communities of these criminal elements. Every day, LEAP officers risk their lives to ensure that crime in general is reduced. These officers are visible, impactful and by removing these illegal elements off our streets, they help create safer communities. It is important now that these arrests translate into convictions, as particularly gang related convictions are still very low.”
Minister Reagen Allen continued: “Many communities are requesting that LEAP should also be deployed in their areas. These requests clearly shows that LEAP’s deployment model is something that should be adopted by the SAPS hierarchy, to also ensure they too become as effective. Regrettably, the National Government will not consider this, as it plays into their hands to have our communities living in constant fear. This is part of the reason why we continue to call for the devolution of SAPS. We will ensure that SAPS is effectively deployed, data-driven, well-resourced, visible and professional service that has the community’s safety at heart.”
“We are fully aware that we have a long way to go, especially since our ultimate goal is to reduce the murder rate by 50% by 2029. I urge communities to work with and support all law enforcement agencies, including LEAP, other City of Cape Town law enforcement entities and SAPS. I also plead with community members not to attack officers when they are executing their duties and arresting criminals. These actions which rear its ugly head from time-to-time is counterproductive and only emboldens the criminals. With all sectors of society working as one against crime, we will be able to achieve greater success,” concluded Minister Reagen Allen.
Spokesperson for Minister Reagen Allen
082 721 3362 (m)