First Rural Safety Summit held in Overberg District
On 22 and 23 September Western Cape Minister of Police Oversight and Community Safety, Reagen Allen facilitated the first Rural Safety Summit and Policing Needs and Priorities (RSSaPNP) engagement in Bredasdorp, which is in the Cape Agulhas municipal area, and forms part of the Overberg District.
The RSSaPNP stems from:
1. Minster Reagen Allen’s commitment to engaging all relevant stakeholders across the Western Cape;
2. From a need for an integrated and coordinated approach to crime prevention and responding to social unrest across the Western Cape;
3. Focusing on developing an integrated communication platform (technology platform) among law enforcement role players; and
4. To assist local authorities to promote and create safer environments.
The findings will also contribute to the provincial Policing Needs and Priorities which are submitted annually to the Minister of Police.
The areas covered during the RSSaPNP include law enforcement, urban design and social cohesion. All information is currently being collated and a report will be drafted. This report will be used to, together with the districts ensure that the current District Rural Safety Plan is tightened and finetuned to address the specific needs highlighted during the RSSaPNP.
A strong sentiment from all attendees at the summit is that the chronic under-resourcing at SAPS remains one of the biggest challenges for the area. There is a need for greater alignment and cooperation between the various law enforcement agencies, and for other departments to play a more active role in in the prevention and combatting of crime.
Minister Reagen Allen said: “It was refreshing to have such a robust and frank engagement. Locals are fully aware of what their needs are, and this is part of the reason why policing needs to be as close to the ground as possible. It’s welcoming to note the support for our vision to halve the murder rate by 50% by 2029. The more we strategically and optimally pull and utilise resources, while incorporating technology from all partners, the more we will be effective in the fight against crime.”
Various stakeholders formed part of the RSS, and amongst others they include Overberg District Executive Mayor, Alderman Sakkie Franken, Cape Agulhas Deputy Mayor, Raymond Ross, Cape Winelands District Executive Deputy Mayor, Mrs Margaret Sampson, various senior municipal officials, SAPS, law enforcement, traffic services, Neighbourhood and Farm Watch, and Community Police Forum members, along with officials from other provincial departments.
Minister Reagen Allen continued: “I commend all the stakeholders that were present at the event, as it demonstrates how serious all participants take safety in the district. This shows why criminals should be shaking in their boots. Safety, whether it is in a rural or urban area remains a priority for the Western Cape Government, and this is part of the reason why we’re engaging relevant stakeholders throughout the province.”
Other RSSaPNP’s are currently being finalised with the next one scheduled for the West Coast District in the Saldanha Bay Municipal area on 3 – 4 October 2022.
“I’m looking forward to engaging other stakeholders in other regions. I firmly believe that with everyone’s buy-in we will be able to tackle crime head-on and overcome this evil in our society. A safer Western Cape means everyone can live in improved and dignified areas,” concluded Minister Reagen Allen.