Effective training ensure Western Cape LEAP officers can combat crime | Western Cape Government



Effective training ensure Western Cape LEAP officers can combat crime

21 April 2024

In September 2019, the Western Cape Government (WCG) launched its Western Cape Safety Plan (WCSP) in a determined manner to counter high rates of murder and violence across the province. The primary aim of the WCSP is to halve the murder rate by 2029. To execute this plan, the Law Enforcement Advancement Plan (LEAP) officers were introduced in 2020. LEAP is a partnership between the Western Cape Government (WCG) and the City of Cape Town. 

These officers have demonstrated how impactful they are in combatting crime. Since inception, to 31 March 2024, LEAP officers have confiscated 564 firearms and arrested over 28 200 persons for various offences. The confiscation of illegal firearms is critical. The third quarter, October to December 2023 crime statistics show that of the 1 072 murders committed throughout the province, 617 (57%)  were due to the use of a firearm. During the first fifteen weeks of 2024, shootings accounted for 742 (55%) of homicides, which is the highest cause of murders in the province. 

LEAP officers undergo intense and rigorous training for a minimum period of 77 days, where various aspects of law enforcement are covered. Amongst others, it includes:

- the role and functions of a Peace Officer and Traffic Warden; 

- basic firearm competency; 

- tactical and restraining techniques; 

- first responder expertise to crime scenes; 

- stop and search approaches and the powers; and 

- duties of law enforcement officers. 

In addition to this, they need to at least have a matric certificate, a valid driver’s licence and no criminal record. Their fingerprints also need to be cleared.

Pursuant to this, further training follows, which among others include:

- National Road Traffic Act 93/96: Definitions and By-laws;

- Apply Knowledge of Road Traffic Legislation Pertaining to Law Enforcement  Officers, Road Users and Vehicles;

- Traffic control;

- Demonstrate knowledge of the Land Transport Legal Framework; and 

- Examine Vehicle Fitness at the Roadside.

LEAP officers are specifically deployed in areas where the murder rate is highest. These operations are based on evidence and data. This approach is also used as part of monitoring and evaluation to determine the effectiveness of LEAP and inform a cycle of continuous improvement. This includes our top 10 murder areas in the Western Cape, such as Delft, Gugulethu, Harare, Khayelitsha (Site B policing precinct), Kraaifontein, Mfuleni, Mitchells Plain, Nyanga, Philippi East, and Samora Machel. Other high crime areas in which they are deployed are Atlantis, Bishop Lavis and Hanover Park, along with Lavender Hill, Steenberg and Grassy Park. 

Western Cape Minister of Police Oversight and Community Safety, Reagen Allen said: “Our LEAP officers, who are highly skilled and trained, are only deployed to these extremely volatile areas once they have proven that they are competent in the various fields in which they are trained. They operate in a professional and ethical manner. This is done to ensure they are able to serve and protect these residents, and to put citizens in these high crime areas at ease, knowing that there is a law enforcement unit that has their best interest at heart. Ultimately it is to ensure safer communities are created.”

“LEAP is focussed on enforcing law and order, so that residents who are plagued by high rates of crime can be freed from this devastating reality. Furthermore, it serves as a force multiplier to the South African Police Service, to strengthen their hand in the fight against crime, while also working hand-in-hand with other City of Cape Town law enforcement agencies. It is vital that community members work with our LEAP officers so that crime is eradicated from our areas,” concluded Minister Reagen Allen. 

Media Enquiries: 

Marcellino Martin

Spokesperson for Minister Reagen Allen


082 721 3362 (m)