Alan Winde, provincial minister for Community Safety, addressed a crowd of more than 100 residents of Gordon’s Bay at the Lof-sentrum earlier this week.
He was invited to speak on increasing levels of crime in the area and ways this endemic problem can be combated on Monday 8 April. Winde was accompanied by the director of Law Enforcement for the City of Cape Town, Petrus Roberts.
Winde’s address followed a presentation by Gordon’s Bay Residents’ Association chairperson Edwina Hadfield, who pointed out that much had been done since November last year to rid the area of vagrancy, illegal car guards, prostitution, drug dealing and other criminal activities.
“All of these problem factors have been significantly reduced,” she said, adding that the success of combating crime can be attributed to the launch of a patrol vehicle and an excellent team of security guards who worked tirelessly over the past few months.
Hadfield thanked homeowners and members of the association for contributing funds towards this initiative and urged residents to continue their financial support.
Winde then took to the stage, and reminded those present that he had taken the Community Safety portfolio over from Dan Plato only from 1 November, but said he was committed to alleviating crime through a number of initiatives – many of which are already operational.
“The way forward lies with technology and partnerships between neighbourhood watches, security companies and City Law Enforcement,” he said, before admitting crime was “out of control” in the province.
Winde said national government held the real power over the police, but he was making it his mission to shift policy to allow provincial government to take over this function.
“For a province without a clear mandate for policing, we had recently increased the community safety budget to R2 billion a year. This is a tough space to be in at the moment, for there are daily protests and unrest all over Cape Town and Public Order Police are being stretched to their maximum capabilities,” he relayed.
Winde attributed increasing levels of crime to low economic growth, resulting in migration of people towards cities, but they end up unemployed and susceptible to land invasion. One of the province’s primary objectives was to create jobs, he added.
Asked how to resolve protests in Sir Lowry’s Pass, Winde said it was a “complex” issue as people have a right to protest but none to close roads.
“Two people recently died in a protest in Caledon, making the whole issue more complicated,” he said.
“Police are being blamed and they are becoming more cautious over how to approach and deal with such scenarios.”
Roberts then took to the stage and provided insight into the crime fighting capabilities of law enforcement officers of the City.
“We have specialised units that are essentially doing the same job as police,” he said.
“We encourage policing through technology and will look to support all initiatives taken by this community to fight crime.”
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