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Scholar safety a priority for School Resource Officers<p>​With the academic year in full swing, officers are conducting enforcement patrols at schools to ensure the safety of learners and educational staff. Visible patrols, assisting learners and acting on information received as well as impromptu  searches are effective components in crime prevention at these facilities.</p><p><strong><em> </em></strong>This year, the SRO's  staff complement increased with 60 to 96 officers. Operational deployment will be at 45 schools of which 23 were identified by the Western Cape Provincial Government and 22 by the City of Cape Town.  </p><p><strong><em> </em></strong>Last year saw a dramatic increase in confiscation of dangerous weapons  when officers confiscated 2 866 items as opposed to 826 in 2022. This represents an increase of more than 240 percent.</p><p> Officers also recorded the following successes during 2023;<br></p><ul><li>Confiscation of  eight  imitation firearms</li><li>Confiscation of  2 701 dagga units</li><li>Executed 16 arrests</li><li>Issued close to 400 traffic by-law fines<br><br> In addition to the above 2023 also saw a steep increase in fines issued  - 1493 as opposed to 251 in 2022. </li></ul><p> During school holidays last year, SROs held  joint enforcement operations with the South African Police Service, which included vehicle checkpoints resulting in the increase in fines.</p><p> Officers also conducted patrols during weekends to curb illegal dumping and littering.</p><p> Where  surrounding  schools request assistance officers will consider the request based on operational deployment.</p><p> Relationship building is an important component to the success of the programme. In this regard, the relationship between SROs and schools, including communities contribute immensely towards enforcement successes.</p><p> Officers also walked the extra mile to build relationships. One such example, is where officers visited parents and learners who were absent from school in the high risk gang area of Hanover Park  to encourage learners to return to school and to advocate the value of education.</p><p> 'The School Resource officers play an important role in creating a safer environment at schools as learners should be allowed to study and learn in a safe environment. There have been instances in the recent past where criminal elements wanted to enter a school. We will not allow criminals to endanger the lives of teachers and learners. Residents in the areas surrounding the schools can also play an active role in preventing break-ins and vandalism by working with our SROs. Officers will keep on targeting those who choose to intimidate, bully or threaten learners and teachers. We should all work together to stop disruptive and dangerous criminal behaviour at our schools,' said the City's Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security, Alderman JP Smith.</p><p>Residents are requested to report any suspicious  behaviour or criminal activity by phoning the City's Public Emergency Communication Centre on 021 480 77 00 from a cell phone or 107 from a landline.<br></p><p><strong>End</strong></p><p><br></p>2024-02-17T22:00:00ZGP0|#1d539e44-7c8c-4646-887d-386dc1d95d70;L0|#01d539e44-7c8c-4646-887d-386dc1d95d70|City news;GTSet|#62efe227-07aa-45e7-944c-ceebacca891dGP0|#4bcb251f-1166-4a1c-8ee5-d33721046dec;L0|#04bcb251f-1166-4a1c-8ee5-d33721046dec|law enforcement;GTSet|#2e3de6c1-9951-4747-8f53-470629a399bb;GP0|#550cea01-5fec-45fb-8509-f49cfc36c0e0;L0|#0550cea01-5fec-45fb-8509-f49cfc36c0e0|Safety10

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