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City constitutes task force to help curb flare-up of gang violence<div>The upsurge in gang violence across Cape Town is an issue that requires urgent intervention. <br><br></div><div>It is not within the City of Cape Town’s mandate to handle crime prevention and gang-related violence. This is exclusively a South African Police Services (SAPS) competency. <br><br></div><div>Unfortunately, statistics acquired from the SAPS and the Ministry of Justice point to a conviction rate for gang violence that is 12% or lower and between just 2 – 5% in some areas.<br><br></div><div>Because of this, and as part of this administration’s commitment to building a safe city for our residents, we have continued to go beyond our mandate and find innovative solutions to deal with this scourge and to assist the SAPS as far as our resources <br><br></div><div>The efforts of the City of Cape Town and the Western Cape Government to secure appropriate intervention are well-documented, as is the response from National Government. Our attempts to discuss the latest upsurge in gang violence with senior Western Cape SAPS management officials have come to nought. If the SAPS does have any planned interventions, the City is not aware of them.<br><br></div><div>It is, however, clear that we cannot sit idly by while the situation continues to go unchecked. <br><br></div><div>A week ago the City’s Metro Police Department launched ‘Operation Punch’. In the space of six days, officers carried out numerous search and seizure operations, resulting in 56 arrests and the confiscation of more than 700 units of narcotics, two firearms, and over R20 000 in cash. <br><br></div><div>One of the suspects who was arrested is a SAPS Detective who now faces charges of possession and dealing in illegal narcotics, possession of an unlicensed firearm and ammunition, being in possession of forensic bags containing narcotics, possession of an unlicensed vehicle, corruption, and defeating the ends of justice.<br><br></div><div>‘Operation Punch’ will be expanded into a fully-fledged gang task force. This will include using a number of internal and external specialists to intensify the City’s gang operations in addition to the R28 million that this administration has already spent. The task force has held preliminary meetings and will be formally constituted next week.</div><div><br></div><div>The City will continue to do what we can to improve the lives of our residents but with a 700-strong Metro Police staff complement; we cannot continue to compensate for SAPS’ apparent shortcomings and the lack of criminal convictions that allows gangsters and drug dealers to continue their evil business.</div><div><br></div><div><br></div><div><strong>End<br>​<br></strong></div><div><br></div>2014-01-25T22:00:00ZGP0|#1d539e44-7c8c-4646-887d-386dc1d95d70;L0|#01d539e44-7c8c-4646-887d-386dc1d95d70|City news;GTSet|#62efe227-07aa-45e7-944c-ceebacca891d;GP0|#904f8ac3-ad18-4896-a9a8-86feb1d4a1b7;L0|#0904f8ac3-ad18-4896-a9a8-86feb1d4a1b7|StatementsGP0|#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|#711a0f14-6bc2-4035-8d56-028a031bf82a;L0|#0711a0f14-6bc2-4035-8d56-028a031bf82a|Operation Punch;GPP|#3bd13869-3207-4532-9db7-a4ca95867a50;GP0|#b480eb1b-cfa8-45cf-ab3d-21f848f482e9;L0|#0b480eb1b-cfa8-45cf-ab3d-21f848f482e9|safety and security1

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