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Attempts to disempower Metro Police need to be stopped<p>The City of Cape Town is deeply disturbed by the latest attempt to derail the good work that the Metropolitan Police Department and our other enforcement agencies are doing.</p><p>The Municipal Policing Service has been under threat for several years now – first, the White Paper on Policing in 2016, proposed that the service be put under the control of the South African Police Service.</p><p>These efforts were thwarted, as the Constitution specifically provides for a municipal police service in its section 206(7) which states that 'National legislation must provide a framework for the establishment, powers, functions and control of municipal police services'. </p><p>The latest proposal by national government is to limit the City enforcement services' powers to by-law and traffic enforcement only, which means they will no longer play a part in crime prevention, as conveyed in an entire section of the national draft policy devoted to this subject:</p><p>'Metro Police Services (MPS) are well placed at municipal level to proactively address crimes through the rigorous enforcement of their other two mandates - traffic enforcement and by-law enforcement. By ensuring that traffic laws and by-laws are observed, MPS will contribute to instilling a culture of lawfulness. The MPS can effectively contribute to visible policing and are in a position to observe violations of by-laws and less serious crimes.'</p><p>The City is vehemently opposed to this proposal, as it will have a dire impact on the many communities who rely on Metro Police to increasingly fill the gaps left by an ailing South African Police Service. Our response to national government is conveying this opposition and we are committed to pursuing this matter to the Constitutional Court should national government proceed with this indefensible plan.</p><p>Cape Town's Metro Police Department has been in existence for 22 years, and is punching way above its weight in the fight against crime.</p><p>During the 2022/23 financial year, officers made 5 662 arrests and confiscated nearly 35 000 units of drugs, 74 firearms and more than a thousand rounds of ammunition. That does not include the extraordinary number or firearm and other arrests made by City Law Enforcement and Traffic Services, which included just on 700 firearm related arrests over the last 2 years.</p><p>Curtailing their powers would be catastrophic.</p><p>It also boggles the mind why national government would want to fix something that is not broken, instead of focusing on the complete overhaul that is required in SAPS and the criminal justice system. </p><p>The proposal flies in the face of what's needed on the ground, and in fact, the City reiterates its call for greater decentralisation of policing functions. </p><p>Instead of trying to take the limited policing powers away from local government, national government should be expanding the powers of Metro Police and Law Enforcement, or simply devolving the control of SAPS to local and provincial government altogether.</p><p><strong>End</strong></p><p><br></p>2023-11-15T22:00:00ZGP0|#904f8ac3-ad18-4896-a9a8-86feb1d4a1b7;L0|#0904f8ac3-ad18-4896-a9a8-86feb1d4a1b7|Statements;GTSet|#62efe227-07aa-45e7-944c-ceebacca891dGP0|#3bd13869-3207-4532-9db7-a4ca95867a50;L0|#03bd13869-3207-4532-9db7-a4ca95867a50|JP Smith;GTSet|#2e3de6c1-9951-4747-8f53-470629a399bb;GPP|#3f57ea8a-3adb-4a8f-bb3a-0a20a62c7fe9;GP0|#78273557-84e5-4b4e-8960-1153e6941255;L0|#078273557-84e5-4b4e-8960-1153e6941255|Metro police;GP0|#4bcb251f-1166-4a1c-8ee5-d33721046dec;L0|#04bcb251f-1166-4a1c-8ee5-d33721046dec|law enforcement;GP0|#1590d31e-7ad8-4e2e-9ac0-344400d98f63;L0|#01590d31e-7ad8-4e2e-9ac0-344400d98f63|traffic services;GP0|#fa398fa6-831f-4358-9c72-e9afa39997c9;L0|#0fa398fa6-831f-4358-9c72-e9afa39997c9|SAPS10

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