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Cape Town welcomes plan for more metro policing powers<p>‘Expanding the powers of municipal law enforcement to investigate crime is a simple way to immediately help SAPS fight crime and gain more convictions. We welcome the Police Portfolio Committee’s support for this idea. I have again written to the Ministers of Police and Justice this week to call for three simple reforms that will allow our well-trained officers to better help SAPS fight gang, gun and drug crime in Cape Town especially,’ said Mayor Hill-Lewis in an online address to City Council directly from a metro police safety operation along the M5 highway in Cape Town.</p><div>Stressing the need to turn the tide on violent crime, Mayor Hill-Lewis cited the recent tragedy of Cape Town’s Momoti family, who are coming to terms with the loss of their 16 year-old daughter, Zamawushe, who was shot and killed in the crossfire of warring gangsters outside her school in Belgravia.</div><div> </div><div>‘When your neighbourhood, your streets, your schools and your public spaces are no longer safe, and when children cannot be protected at all times from the threat of criminal violence, you cannot truly speak of hope.<br></div><div><br></div><div>‘Spending time with Mr Masero Momoti this week, I could only embrace him in his grief – there were no words that could offer any comfort. No parent should ever have to receive that phone call, and I offer the Momoti family my deepest condolences for their terrible loss,’ said Mayor Hill-Lewis.<br></div><div><br></div><div><span><figure class="subtopic-fullsize-img"><img class="responsive" src="" alt="" style="width:1730px;" /></figure>​​</span>In a letter to Ministers Bheki Cele and Ronald Lamola on 24 April, Mayor Hill-Lewis calls for three reforms:</div><div><ul><li> Amending the SAPS Act definition of ‘criminal investigation’ to specifically include municipal law enforcement</li><li>Extending more Peace Officer powers to municipal officers to combat serious offences, including gang, gun and drug crime</li><li>Giving metros a bigger say in setting local policing policy by including metro-specific policies in the National Policing Plan, as per Section 206 of the Constitution<br></li></ul></div><div>‘We are investing to grow our policing resources, with firearm-related arrests up by 35% in 22/23, with law enforcement also doubling annual drug arrests from 4 000 to 8 000 over the same period.<br></div><div><br></div><div>‘It is increasingly irrational for the National Ministers to ignore us. SAPS data shows a detection rate of just 12% in 2022/23. We can immediately boost convictions and put more criminals behind bars by giving our well-trained, capacitated officers the power of investigation to build winnable case dockets.<br></div><div><br></div><div>‘What we want does not require a Constitutional amendment. Our request is easy to do right now, and would make an immediate positive difference to crime in South Africa and especially in the city,’ said Mayor Hill-Lewis. <br></div><div><br></div><div>‘The City has made investments in investigative and information management staff which would be able to assist and expand the work being done by overloaded SAPS investigators, especially in gang-affected areas in the City. This is in line with operational proposals made to the SAPS management and the Provincial Minister for Policing Oversight and Community Safety. <br></div><div><br></div><div>‘As far back as August 2021, the City submitted formal proposals to the National Minister of Justice to expand the peace officer powers of our enforcement staff. This followed the initial expansion of peace officer powers by the Minister in 2018 due to the efforts of the City of Cape Town and the Institute for Municipal Public Safety of South Africa (IMPS-SA),’ said Alderman JP Smith, Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security.<br></div><div><br></div><div><span><figure class="subtopic-fullsize-img"><img class="responsive" src="" alt="" style="width:981px;" /></figure></span>The mayor further cited concerns with the under-resourcing of SAPS, and particularly the lack of basic equipment such as radios for Cape Town’s Anti-Gang Unit.</div><div><br></div><div>‘Think what it means to respond to a live fire situation in the middle of gang warfare, and not even be able to speak on radio to your colleagues in the next street or even in the next house. It is amazing to me that this is not a national scandal. <br></div><div><br></div><div>‘We have 19 radios we can immediately avail to this critical SAPS unit, and the City will be in a position to make a further 500 radios available to other SAPS units in the near future. The City’s own Gang & Drug Task Team have been equipped with all the tech they need, as have all our other policing units, but without proper policing powers we are forever fighting an uphill battle here,’ said Mayor Hill-Lewis.<br></div><div><br></div><div>‘The Safety & Security Directorate of the City offered the South African Police Service the use of 500 hand radios in January 2024 when we became aware of the challenges they were experiencing with the radio network and we are keen to be of assistance to SAPS as they are the lead agency in the fight against crime and our valuable partners in crime prevention - their successes are our successes,’ said Alderman JP Smith.<br></div><div><br></div><div><span><figure class="subtopic-fullsize-img"><img class="responsive" src="" alt="" style="width:786px;" /></figure>​​</span><strong>City investing R138m in Safety vehicles </strong></div><div>In his address to Council, carried live from an integrated enforcement exercise, Mayor Hill-Lewis said the City has added hundreds of new vehicles fitted with dashcam tech since the start of the local government term in November 2021.<br></div><div><br></div><div>‘Stretching off to either side of me this morning are just some of the new vehicles we have recently welcomed to our arsenal. It truly is impressive to see them together like this, and we are not done yet. Over the next three years, we are investing a further R81 million in vehicles and R57 million to equip our vehicles with dashcams,’ said Mayor Hill-Lewis during his Council address.<br></div><div><br></div><div>Over the next three-years, the City plans to invest R610m in safety technology, with an additional R200m already invested in the current financial year.<br></div><div><br></div><div>This includes SA’s biggest body and dashcam rollout, drones, aerial surveillance, radios, CCTV, and the master EPIC system to digitally coordinate all our policing operations. </div><div><br></div><div>The City is further putting R35m behind Project 1 000 learnerships in the coming year to keep growing our policing resources over time to help SAPS fight crime.<br></div><div><br></div><div>Project 1 000 builds on the LEAP programme, which has already deployed 1 300 new boots on the ground in crime hotspots via a partnership between the City and Western Cape Government.<br></div><div><br></div><div>‘Our total operational vehicle fleet now stands at 3359 vehicles, including patrol, response and specialised vehicles.  This ensures that the extra boots on the ground which we have recruited and trained are able to respond to the 2200 and more service requests per day the City actions and that our officers are adequately equipped to undertake their duties safely and efficiently to assist the public and make our city safer,’ added Alderman Smith.<br></div><p><br></p>2024-04-24T22:00:00ZGP0|#1d539e44-7c8c-4646-887d-386dc1d95d70;L0|#01d539e44-7c8c-4646-887d-386dc1d95d70|City news;GTSet|#62efe227-07aa-45e7-944c-ceebacca891dGP0|#b480eb1b-cfa8-45cf-ab3d-21f848f482e9;L0|#0b480eb1b-cfa8-45cf-ab3d-21f848f482e9|safety and security;GTSet|#2e3de6c1-9951-4747-8f53-470629a399bb;GP0|#2511a79d-ced9-4ca5-b161-3e9929266ea7;L0|#02511a79d-ced9-4ca5-b161-3e9929266ea7|Crime prevention;GP0|#98464881-1811-4e7f-9d65-92cd7118ace0;L0|#098464881-1811-4e7f-9d65-92cd7118ace0|Protection10

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