Media Release: Crime stats – Premier Winde says devolve policing to provinces no
Media Release: Crime stats – Premier Winde says devolve policing to provinces now
The release of SAPS’ Quarterly Crime Statistics for the period of January to March 2022 yesterday, clearly demonstrated the need to devolve policing powers to provinces – particularly those which are capable. We need to devolve policing – now.
This follows the welcomed decline in murders and attempted murders within hotspot areas where our Law Enforcement Advancement Plan (LEAP) officers are deployed. Within LEAP areas where LEAP are deployed, murders decreased by 2.9% and attempted murders decreased by 27.2%.
While I welcome the positive changes within our LEAP hotspots, I remain cognizant of the reality on the ground. We have recently seen an escalation in gang-related violence and extortion incidents – leaving a sense of terror of hopelessness within affected communities. This cannot be the norm in our province.
That is why when submitting our Policing Needs and Priorities (PNP) report to the National Government, we will further be calling for greater powers over policing in the province. The crime statistics clearly show that we are best placed to manage policing and the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa already makes provisions for its devolution.
As a capable government, we have gone above and beyond our mandate to make our province safer for all who live in it. We have done so through the Western Cape Safety Plan which aims to halve the murder rate in the province by 2029 through a combination of violence prevention and law enforcement initiatives.
While SAPS remains the primary agency responsible for crime prevention, its ability to safeguard residents is undermined as its budget, resource allocation and safety plans are subject to the whims of the National Government. This has resulted in issues of under-resourcing, non-compliance, and a lack of training among SAPS members– to name a few.
The deployment of our 1000 LEAP officers is guided by a data-led approach which is why we initially rolled out LEAP officers permanently to 12 of the country’s top 30 murder hotspots which were located in the Western Cape. I am very pleased that of the 12 murder hotspots where LEAP have been deployed, 4 no longer feature among the 30 murder hotspots in the country. These include Gugulethu, Philippi East, Mitchells Plain and Elsies River.
Despite some still featuring among the top 30 stations, we are also seeing positive declines in murders and attempted murders within our hotspots in communities including Nyanga, Delft, Mfuleni, Harare, Kraaifontein, Khayelitsha and Philippi.
We are continuing in our efforts to fully implement the Safety Plan. That is why we have since begun deploying LEAP on a 24/7 basis, established a Reaction Unit – helping to stabilise crime where flare-ups occur, and established a Safety Dashboard for safety stakeholders in the province to identify and predict new hotspots in real-time.
We are also continuing to work with SAPS and other law enforcement agencies in an integrated manner. I thank all these safety stakeholders for the part they are playing – making LEAP an effective force multiplier.