Officers ‘not enough’

2015-12-08 06:00

As the Mother City prepares for an influx of visitors over the festive season, the City council has announced the allocation of over 70 law enforcement officers to the southern parts of the city.

However, with the same deployment of law enforcement officers as last festive season planned for this year, crime-fighting organisations claim more is needed.

The City’s law enforcement for the south metro, in which the South Peninsula falls, has an allocation of 74 officers for this festive season, which runs until March next year, says JP Smith, mayoral committee member for safety and security.

But there needs to be a greater push towards longer working hours, believes Andre Blom, chairperson of the Fish Hoek Community Police Forum (CPF).

“As long as law enforcement is only operational between working hours it pains me to say they are operating at 50% of the time the criminals are out there. On some special occasions overtime has been allocated, but not to great effect,” he says.

“In the coming season it is hoped the recently appointed law enforcement supervisor and his officers will make some significant difference to the area this year. But so few law enforcement officers over such a large area will always have a struggle to make a significant dent in the region.”

Muizenberg CPF chairperson Frank Bokhorst believes law enforcement is “hopelessly understaffed”.

The Muizenberg CPF and the Muizenberg Improvement District have set up a joint operations forum,with representatives of law enforcement, traffic police, the police and private security contractors.

“I am optimistic that this will be effective to enhance the work of the municipal police – even with their limited resources,” Bokhorst says.

In addition, 100 beach monitors will work on beaches across the city during the peak season, says Belinda Walker, mayoral committee member for community services and special projects.

“These beach monitors will play a critical role – not only as additional eyes and ears but also in an awareness capacity,” she says.

Blom is hopeful that this added layer of safety will yield results.

“Beach monitors could work if they are well trained and are supervised and not left to walk around chatting to each other and ignoring their surrounds, as often happens. The more active uniforms there are out in the field and engaged with the community, the better the chance of success.”


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