Law Enforcement Advancement Plan (LEAP)
WHAT IS LEAP?
The Law Enforcement Advancement Programme (LEAP) is a joint initiative between the City of Cape Town and the Western Cape Government founded to implement and give effect to achieving targets of the Western Cape Safety Plan (WCSP) priority of safe and cohesive communities. The primary focus of LEAP is the deploying of more law enforcement officers within priority hotspot areas with the objective of stabilizing crime in the areas and ultimately making communities feel safe.
The deployment of additional law enforcement officers alluded to forms the bedrock of the Law Enforcement Advancement Programme. The phrase “more boots on the ground” is synonymous with LEAP. Each of the LEAP officers are deployed into communities based on data, crime trends and crime patterns. All the officers have undergone the prescribed Peace Officer Training, including a Traffic Warden Certificate course and training in the by-laws of the City of Cape Town. Throughout their deployment, top up training is received to ensure that they are fit for purpose.
WHAT IS THE WESTERN CAPE SAFETY PLAN?
The WC Safety Plan is both evidence-led and data-driven, accommodating for the evolving safety needs within the province. It is built on a whole-of-society and whole-of government approach which sees Provincial Government Departments, SAPS and the City of Cape Town together addressing the root causes of crime and violence within priority areas. The communities represented by CPF’s, NHW’S NGO’s, NPO’s and FBO’s are also involved. Targeted violence prevention interventions are conducted to give momentum towards achieving the Safety Plan target of halving the murder rate in the province over the next 10 years.
In the Western Cape, ten SAPS station precinct areas account for nearly 50% of all the province’s murders and this analysis of data highlights the priority areas for attention. The safety of residents is a top priority which is the reason for the Western Cape Government working together to implement a wide range of initiatives, across departments, aimed at violence prevention. The Safety Plan together with its implementation through LEAP is evidence of the high value placed on the safety of communities.
Click here to read more about the Western Cape Government Safety Plan.
LEAP officers are currently deployed in thirteen areas, of which 10 areas form part of the top 10 murder areas in the Western Cape. These include areas such as Delft, Gugulethu, Harare, Khayelitsha (Site B policing precinct), Kraaifontein, Mfuleni, Mitchells Plain, Nyanga, Philippi East, and Samora Machel. The other high crime areas where they are deployed to, are Atlantis, Bishop Lavis and Hanover Park, and recently Lavender Hill, Steenberg and Grassy Park. These placements are strategic and backed by data. LEAP officers in conjunction with SAPS staff are directed by crime analysis and deployed into specific areas to proactively reduce criminality through showing a strong law enforcement presence in the area and also to reactively embark upon joint crime prevention operations within identified areas to enforce the law. The nature of operations sometimes find LEAP officers working in collaboration with multi-disciplinary law enforcement stakeholders. The footprint of LEAP within communities has been well received and supported by affected law abiding citizens. Area by area, street by street and suburb by suburb have been reclaimed from the grips of criminals and returned to law abiding citizenry. The deploying of additional LEAP law enforcement officers is a force multiplier to the South African Police Service (SAPS) particularly in stations located in gang and murder hotspots.
The analysis of murders that have occurred within the province reflect that a firearm is the weapon of choice for the commission of this and other violent crime. LEAP officers have been instrumental in getting over 300 illegal firearms off the street since inception. Recoveries with arrests for dangerous weapons and homemade firearms have alsotaken place. The officers have and are continuing to effect arrests for crimes ranging from murders all the way to bylaw infringements during deployment. The officers are deployed on a 24-hour basis, 7 days a week and are also executing operations that address contributors to crime such as drugs and liquor. Numerous arrests and a large variety of drugs and liquor have been confiscated. A ballpark figure of total LEAP arrests since inception exceeds 13 500.
A LEAP Reaction Team has been established and its deployment is coordinated between the Provincial Operational Coordinating Centre(POCC) of SAPS in partnership with the LEAP operational command structure. Deployments are data and evidence based in response to the crime threat analysis requiring urgent intervention to mitigate gang related violence.