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Firearm cases need to be prioritised<div>The report provides feedback on firearms and ammunition cases in which the City’s three enforcement agencies made arrests, to determine the progress of these cases in the criminal justice system.</div><div><br></div><div>Between January 2021 and October 2022, the agencies recorded 674 arrests related to transgressions involving firearms and ammunition.</div><div><br></div><div>However, there have been only six convictions – all linked to arrests made by officers attached to the Law Enforcement Advancement Plan:</div><div><br></div><div><ul><li>A suspect arrested in Khayelitsha on 1 July 2021 was convicted and sentenced to six years in prison for the possession of an illegal firearm and four years for possession of ammunition<br></li><li>In August 2021, a suspect was arrested in Harare. That accused has been sentenced to 36 months imprisonment, suspended for five years, for the possession of an unlicensed firearm and ammunition without a permit </li><li>A case registered in October 2021 in Bishop Lavis has been resolved, with a conviction and sentence of six years for the possession of an unlicensed firearm and two years for the possession of ammunition<br></li><li>Another conviction linked to an arrest in Bishop Lavis in September 2021 resulted in a sentence of three month imprisonment or a R3 000 fine for the possession of a prohibited zip gun and ammunition</li><li>Another arrest in Bishop Lavis in September 2021 resulted in a conviction and sentence of 10 years, with four years suspended for five years, for the possession of a prohibited firearm and ammunition <br></li><li>In September 2021, a suspect was arrested in Kraaifontein. The person has been convicted and sentenced to five years in prison<br></li></ul></div><div>‘This paints a very bleak picture and one suspects that the conviction rate related to arrests made by SAPS is likely as low, but we do not have the ability to test their outcomes. The crux of the matter is that the public in suburbs plagued by gun violence are being failed by the criminal justice system. Apart from the fact that cases move through the courts at a snail’s pace for a myriad reasons, including unmanageable caseloads for detectives and public prosecutors, the forensic services too are starved of resources. There is no way that we can hope to win this battle until there is a massive investment in our criminal justice system, because as things stand, this situation will only deteriorate given the daily successes and confiscations on the ground by our staff,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security, Alderman JP Smith.</div><div><br></div><div>The report further notes that only 21 of the firearms confiscated during the period in question have been referred for ballistic testing. </div><div><br></div><div>‘The Portfolio Committee specifically requested that these reports be submitted on a regular basis so that we can keep track of the overall impact the City’s additional enforcement resources is having. There can be no debate about the positive difference more boots on the ground have made to the arrest rate and the number of illegal firearms being taken from our streets, but we need the wheels of justice to be well-oiled if we are to make a meaningful difference in our communities and reclaim public trust.</div><div><br></div><div>‘The other big issue is the destruction of firearms. It really is of concern that these weapons are not being disposed of locally. We’ve already seen how guns are recycled and end up back on our streets, which truly defeats the purpose and dilutes the work that is being done on the ground,’ said Safety and Security Portfolio Committee Chairperson, Councillor Mzwakhe Nqavashe.</div><div> <br></div><p><br></p>2022-12-06T22:00:00ZGP0|#1d539e44-7c8c-4646-887d-386dc1d95d70;L0|#01d539e44-7c8c-4646-887d-386dc1d95d70|City news;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|#af06710e-c7b4-42b8-b660-312d27dc05b8;L0|#0af06710e-c7b4-42b8-b660-312d27dc05b8|law enforcement Department;GP0|#78273557-84e5-4b4e-8960-1153e6941255;L0|#078273557-84e5-4b4e-8960-1153e6941255|Metro police;GP0|#1590d31e-7ad8-4e2e-9ac0-344400d98f63;L0|#01590d31e-7ad8-4e2e-9ac0-344400d98f63|traffic services;GP0|#eb8032fb-303b-4fe3-970d-02f26914379f;L0|#0eb8032fb-303b-4fe3-970d-02f26914379f|firearms;GP0|#b58c5574-3860-4d04-b707-12c4db37f507;L0|#0b58c5574-3860-4d04-b707-12c4db37f507|Portfolio Committee;GP0|#b480eb1b-cfa8-45cf-ab3d-21f848f482e9;L0|#0b480eb1b-cfa8-45cf-ab3d-21f848f482e9|safety and security10

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