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Murder rate shows decline

akkreditasie
(Getty)
(Getty)

After they complete their training by 17 December another cohort of 230 Law Enforcement Advanced Plan (Leap) officers will be deployed to Kraaifontein and other top-10 murder stations in the city in a bid to halve the murder rate in the crime-ridden suburb by 2029.

With 67 murders between April and June this year (down from 84 in the third quarter of last year), Kraaifontein continues to have the highest murder rate in the Western Cape and now the third highest in the country. The deployment will add to the over 800 Leap officers already deployed to the top-10 murder stations in the Western Cape, bringing the total to over 1 000.

In Kraaifontein there are currently 87 Leap officers and as such more officers will be deployed here on the basis of an analysis of the relevant data in December and beyond.

“The Provincial Safety Plan is data driven and evidence-led, and this approach is one of the factors guiding the deployment of Leap officers as well. The Leap officers in all the Hotspot areas are moved around and deployed to different areas on the basis of crime data. In other words, Leap officers are deployed where they are needed most,” said ministerial spokesperson Wade Seale.

Chair of the Kraaifontein Community Development Forum Shaneel Nathan says they have seen a decrease in murders over the last three months.

“In Scottsdene at one point we had gang-related murders every week and saw three or four funerals every weekend, whereas now this has decreased,” he says.

Nathan says the visibility of the Leap officers has made all the difference in Scottsdene in particular where Leap officers patrol the streets every day.

“They drive up and down the streets continuously and stop and search people on the streets for drugs and weapons, keeping street-corner shootings at bay,” he says.

“We are happy to get more officers, but hope to have some 300 in due time to be able to alternate between Scottsdene, Scottsville and Wallacedene.”

On the visit to the current trainees Western Cape premier Alan Winde said it was great to meet some of the officers in training who will be playing a critical role in keeping areas such as Kraaifontein, Delft, Mfuleni and the Cape Flats stabilised. 

This group is receiving their training at the Muizenberg Training College.

By the time they complete their training they will officially be learner law enforcement officers having received among others firearm, pepper spray, tactical street survival, radio procedure, peace officer and traffic training. 

“Leap is a critical component of the Western Cape Government’s efforts to halve the murder rate by 2029 through a combination of violence prevention and law enforcement initiatives. We are also establishing Area Based Teams (ABT) in 16 priority areas as part of our plans to reduce the murder rate. These ABTs will co-ordinate all community violence prevention stakeholders,” Winde said.

“Since July, the deployment hours of Leap officers have been extended to 24/7, as part of a shift system. This means consistent visible policing in areas most impacted by violence.” 

According to Winde Leap officers deployed to the Western Cape are making tremendous strides in making our communities feel safer. 

“The Western Cape government remains committed to working closely with partners in the safety sector, including the City of Cape Town and the police in the Western Cape, to ensure the safety of all our residents. We are making great progress in the rollout of the Leap programme and I welcome the positive feedback received from communities and safety stakeholders, including station commanders.” 

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