LEAP officers play crucial role during minibus taxi strike
The presence of 120 Law Enforcement Advancement Plan (LEAP) officers during the recent minibus taxi strike assisted the South African Police Services (SAPS) and other City of Cape Town Law Enforcement Agencies to ensure greater visibility and prevent any further destruction of property.
These officers were strategically deployed at hotspots across the Cape Metro, and in Golden Arrow and MyCiTi busses. LEAP is an initiative of the Western Cape Government (WCG) and is run in partnership with the City of Cape Town. LEAP’s primary aim is to assist in reducing the murder rate, while they can also be deployed to stabilise areas where other forms of violence might be occurring.
These officers are deployed where they can make the biggest difference in turning around negative crime statistics, including in our top 10 murder areas in the Western Cape. This includes 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, and recently Lavender Hill, Steenberg and Grassy Park.
These placements are backed by evidence and data, and where the need is greatest. The 1st quarter (Apr – June 2022) crime statistics show that while murder increased by 11.5% in the country when compared with the same period in the 2021/22 financial year, there’s been an 8,2% reduction in the murder rate during the same period at stations where the LEAP officers are currently deployed.
LEAP also incorporates the Western Cape Government’s Safety Dashboard. This dashboard is providing real-time data to provincial safety stakeholders and helps identify exactly where the LEAP officers are most required. This strengthens our hand in anticipating where new hotspots may appear so that we can deploy the necessary resources - before crime is committed and lives are lost. The Emergency Medical Services data is also being integrated with the Safety Dashboard, to provide us with a more complete picture of violence and trauma in the province.
LEAP continues to prove their success, as between 31 October 2022 and 13 November 2022, LEAP officers effected the arrest of 428 persons for various crimes.
During this period, LEAP officers have amongst others:
• Searched 17 636 persons
• Searched 744 houses
• Conducted 3 031 patrols in hotspot areas
• Conducted 246 roadblocks
• Searched 1 885 vehicles
Of the 428 persons that were arrested, 4 were for the possession of an illegal firearm, 12 for the possession of illegal ammunition, 9 for the possession of an imitation firearm, 249 for the possession of drugs and 43 for the possession of dangerous weapons. Confiscations occurred in the various areas where LEAP is deployed.
As LEAP officers work with a multitude of law enforcement agencies, they conducted 376 integrated operations with other City of Cape Town Law Enforcement Agencies and SAPS.
Minister Reagen Allen said: “LEAP continues to make life uncomfortable for criminals, which is exactly what we want. Criminal elements do not belong in our communities, as their sole purpose is to bring harm to law-abiding citizens. As the Western Cape Government, we want our residents to live in a safe and dignified manner, where they don’t have to fear any criminal.”
“I urge communities to work with and support all law enforcement agencies, including LEAP, other City of Cape Town law enforcement entities and SAPS. We have to work together if we are to be effective in our fight against crime,” concluded Minister Reagen Allen.