DoCS hosts Rural Safety Summit in Cape Winelands Municipality
On 14 and 15 November 2022, the Western Cape Department of Community Safety hosted its fourth Rural Safety Summit and Policing Needs and Priorities (RSSaPNP) engagement in the Cape Winelands District Municipality.
The Cape Winelands District is one of five District Municipalities where these summits are taking place. The Western Cape Government (WCG) views the safety and security of all communities in the Western Cape as a priority, including that of rural communities. To build on this strategic goal, the Department of Community Safety, together with Department of Agriculture, is working towards improving the wellness and safety of communities in districts and local municipalities.
The Rural Safety Summit addressed:
• the innovative use of rural safety technology;
• collaborative and integrated incident management processes;
• the way forward in the District Municipality; and
• reinforcing the Whole-of-Society Approach and the Western Cape Safety Plan.
Some of the key outcomes in terms of Rural Safety include that:
• Rural Safety has been institutionalised as a Ministerial priority;
• The establishment of a Rural Safety Desk;
• The launch of a Rural Safety email hotline, namely firstname.lastname@example.org; and
• an increased number of accredited Farm and Neighbourhood Watch structures.
Major General Groenewald, District Commissioner, and Brigadier Malila, Deputy District Commissioner, presented an overview of the problematic crime areas in the Cape Winelands District, which include:
• contact crimes (murder incl. attempted murder, assault with the intent to do grievous bodily harm, trio crimes, house robberies);
• property crimes (especially in the bigger towns, including theft out of motor vehicles); and
• gangsterism in Paarl East, Worcester and Cloetesville.
SAPS also presented on progress with regard to addressing the policing needs and priorities identified in the previous years, which included successful arrests for serious violent crimes, confiscation of firearms and drugs, and improving safety in the community.
Ms Ntomboxolo Kungune, the Area Commissioner from Drakenstein Correctional Services spoke about the needs for greater collaboration across all spheres of government and civil society.
To ensure safer environments and create a united approach towards fighting crime, effective partnerships are needed between the South African Police Services (SAPS), all law enforcement entities, and all spheres of government and communities.
The Policing Needs and Priorities engagement focused on identifying the key policing and safety issues in the district. It focused on issues related to policing and law enforcement, social cohesion, and safety in public spaces.
Various stakeholders formed part of the Cape Winelands Rural Safety Summit and PNP engagement. All spheres of government were represented. State entities present included the Department of Community Safety, the Department of Agriculture, the Department of Correctional Services, the Department of Social Development, the Western Cape Police Ombudsman and various role-players from the Cape Winelands District Municipality, local municipalities in the Cape Winelands district, Cape Winelands District Municipality, Private Security; Community Police Forums (CPFs) in the district; and Neighbourhood and Farm Watch structures. The SAPS, being the key partner, was well represented.
“I’m grateful to all stakeholders, particularly the Executive Mayors, Deputy Mayors, Portfolio Chairpersons for Safety, all officials, neighbourhood and farm watches, as well as CPF’s for their insightful contributions over the last two days. I’m encouraged to note that all stakeholders are seeking to ensure that crime is tackled head-on. It is also pleasing to note the desire to play an active role in combatting crime across the various areas in the district. These summits have all proven to be helpful in obtaining a full picture of the crime situation in the district. As we move forward, it is vital that we strengthen and coordinate our efforts in a manner that will make it extremely difficult for criminals to operate. By doing this, it will place us in a much stronger position to accomplish our goal of reducing the murder rate by 50% by 2029.” Minister Reagen Allen.
These engagements are intended to contribute significantly to the prevention and reduction of violent crime and murders, and greater safety and cohesion in rural areas. The aim is to build relationships and create sustainable, focused, and integrated operations between SAPS and all safety role players, agricultural communities, technological advanced assistance in policing and build capacity in reservist policing.
The Department will continue to render its services and impact lives to the best of its ability and is committed to creating a Safer Province FOR YOU
Deputy Director: Communications
Head of Communications
Directorate: Strategic Services and Communication
Department of Community Safety
Western Cape Government
Office: + 27 (0)21 483 6689
Mobile: + (0) 82 941 9434