Winde labelled his bold initiative “the most comprehensive and expensive safety plan in the history” of the province, which will involve:
- 3 000 new Law Enforcement officers deployed where and when crime happens.
- Deployment based on data-led technology.
- 150 investigators to prepare dockets for prosecution.
- And a world-class, evidence-led and integrated violence-prevention programme.
“Last week’s release of the latest (and already outdated) crime statistics, made clear what is self-evident. Violent crime is one of the most important, but also one of the most complex, challenges of the Western Cape,” Winde said.
“The murder ratio in the Western Cape is now at 60 for every 100 000 people.
“Almost half of all murders occurred in areas covered by just 10 police stations.
“It is obvious that that is where we need to focus our resources if we want to drastically reduce murder.”
Winde aims to halve the provincial murder rate in 10 years.
“SAPS are tasked with keeping communities safe, but they are not doing it.
“This Safety Plan includes both a law enforcement and a violence prevention component. This is because we know that boots on the ground are not enough.
“Violence starts at home and in our communities. If we do not also put our energy in empowering our children, families and communities to use alternatives to violence, then our other efforts will serve little purpose.”
He says 1000 of the 3000 Law Enforcement officers he plans on dispatching have already been trained and deployed this year.
“The deployment will be data-driven, using technology and information, including information from neighbourhood watches, to focus specifically on dangerous crime hot-spots, at specific times and places where and when violent crime happens.”
He says to keep criminals off the street, cases must be thoroughly investigated, and to this end his government will be deploying 150 investigators who will prepare dockets for prosecution.
In addition, they will identify the families most at risk of violence and roll out parenting programmes, and ensure that 8000 of the children most vulnerable to violence - “boys in particular, have access to programmes that they actually want to attend, to keep them busy in the afternoons”.
Crime fighters urged Winde to involve community structures.
Manenberg community activist, Roegshanda Pascoe, says: “It sounds like a very good plan, but are we going to build a new thing on something that’s rotten already and the rot has not been taken out?”
Strandfontein CPF chairperson, Sandy Schuter, says Winde’s idea to tackle crime at grassroots level is inspiring.
“The diversion programmes is exactly what we need and especially in those areas where there is no financial backing...”