Premier Winde and Minister Allen laud the Western Cape’s women in blue
Joint media release: Premier Winde and Minister Allen laud the Western Cape’s women in blue.
Yesterday Premier Alan Winde and Provincial Minister of Police Oversight and Community Safety Reagen Allen joined female members of the Law Enforcement Advancement Plan (LEAP) – along with their Cape Town Metro Police and SAPS counterparts – on a foot patrol in Bonteheuwel.
“It gave us an opportunity to interact with officers who on a daily basis put themselves in the way of danger to keep our communities safe,” remarked the Premier after the patrol.
Bonteheuwel falls under the LEAP Bishop Lavis precinct, one of several crime-fighting priority areas in Cape Town. It was also where LEAP was launched several years ago.
Addressing officers ahead of their deployment, the Premier added: “All of those involved in fighting crime in the Western Cape make me immensely proud. But I am especially proud of you, the women in blue, who serve with distinction to keep our communities safe.”
He said: “You show just how fearless you are in the face of the challenges that come with being a law enforcement official.”
During the ensuing foot patrol, the Premier remarked: “We salute these women, who are also mothers, sisters, nieces, and aunts. They are willing to sacrifice their time to keep our neighbourhoods safe from criminals. Through their work, they are examples of how women always step up to serve and protect. If we had more women in law enforcement, perhaps our streets would be safer, for women are the ultimate protectors, they can be tough but also intuitively help de-escalate situations.”
Minister Allen also thanked the officers for all they do and their commitment to their job. “You have changed the narrative people have about Bonteheuwel by reducing crime, especially murders,” he told the LEAP, Metro Police and SAPS members. The Minister admitted, “We have a long way to go, but we have seen successes.”
LEAP officer Bernadette Muzanenhamo - who was part of the patrol – explained why she chose to become a law enforcement member: “I have a passion for helping people. I enjoy serving the community, I enjoy problem-solving.” She added while it can be a challenge juggling being a LEAP member as well as a mother and wife, women are the best at multi-tasking.
The LEAP is making a difference in communities where members are deployed. This is shown not just by their visibility and the hard work they do, but also by the statistics. LEAP Regional Inspector Carl Miessner told the Premier and Minister yesterday, that since the initiative was rolled out in the Bishop Lavis precinct, under which Bonteheuwel falls, some categories of contact crimes have come down.
From the 1st of May to the end of July this year, LEAP officers’ successes in the Bishop Lavis precinct included:
- Searching 6024 people;
- 428 homes were searched;
- 560 homes were searched;
- 1024 crime hotspots were patrolled;
- 15 domestic violence complainants were followed up on;
- 17 follow-up visits to ensure illegal drinking spots remain closed were carried out;
- 13 inspections at on-consumption licensed liquor outlets;
- 40 inspections at off-consumption sites;
- 167 drug-related arrests were made;
- A further 16 people were arrested for other offences;
- 5 awareness programmes were conducted.
LEAP officers don’t work in isolation. They are “force multipliers” who form part of a broader deployment along with Metro Police and SAPS in high-crime areas. Their combined impact is visible through the more than 100 operations conducted between May and July this year.
“But expanding their footprint is a priority. I must also say that if this is what a crime-fighting service run by the province looks like and achieves, we must not waste a single minute in driving forward our agenda for devolution of the SAPS to the provincial level,” emphasised Premier Winde.
As we mark Women's Month, the Premier encouraged more women to join the ranks of, not just LEAP, but other law enforcement bodies too.