Police action 'too little, too late'

2012-07-20 22:13

Cape Town - The increased presence of police in gang-ridden areas in Cape Town may be for naught, the National Institute for Crime Prevention and the Re-integration of Offenders (Nicro) said on Friday.

"Though the police presence has mercifully increased [in places like Hanover Park and Lavender Hill], it is obvious that police action is, at best, too little, too late," Nicro deputy CEO Celia Dawson said.

"To my mind, police statistics only provide us with an indicator of output, not impact, as the gang fights and killings continue unabated."

She said gangsterism was endemic in the province and had thrived in deprived communities, which had been torn apart by apartheid and its disintegration of family life.

"Youth, young adults and older males in particular have lost the ability to craft a life for themselves. This helplessness and hopelessness have contributed to the relentless phenomenon of the gang."

Dawson said drugs were the local currency for these communities, both as a means of earning a living and as a way to dull the pain of hopelessness.

Gangs managed to enrol members because they offered, in some form, a sense of belonging. They also provided resources to families in desperate need of sustenance.

Despite the numerous killings on the Cape Flats, various parties continued to point fingers at each other.

She said national ministers were disingenuously pointing to socio-economic causes of gangsterism, while provincial authorities were pointing to the incompetence of the police.

The media were also at fault, pointing their cameras and pens at various sensational angles, she said.

"While there is no quick fix, nor only one best way to resolve this social ill... for the immediate short term we need to find a rapid way of bringing matters under control and stability to these communities."

Dawson said strong law enforcement would provide a window of opportunity to introduce more sustainable developmental strategies.

These tactics would include social crime prevention and socio-economic approaches.

"Are the local police able to provide this level of strong law enforcement? If not - and the army cannot be deployed in the immediate term - can someone please come up with a solution?"

  • jacobus.vandermerwe.9 - 2012-07-20 22:29

    Oh well too little too late lets send them home? What is wrong with you? At least something is happening!

      jameel.patel.39 - 2012-07-21 06:27

      Give it a couple of years and it may just become a little mexico

      armand.horn.58 - 2012-07-21 07:27

      @jacobus You can send as many SAP and SANDF in there as you like. If you don't have a inteligent, skilled, driven management and a your person on the ground that need to do the policing is not a motivated gogetter that is well trained you are farting against thunder. I know, I have worked there.

  • Lacrimose - 2012-07-20 22:53

    This problem has existed since the 1920's. Countless govts have come and gone and have seemingly only succeeded in allowing it to flourish. This underworld financial might alone exceeds our official GDP. This disinterest in criminality, organised crime, seems to be a unique gene mutation no matter which party rules. We need an Elliot Ness, an incorruptable police force and Judiciary to back it up. AND a 3-strikes rule (conviction for same or similar crime 3x is mandatory life without parole & exempt from Presidential pardon). This week a task unit, next week an SIU. These gangsters are better organised and funded and laugh at you. Meanwhile, people die

      Theuns Coetzee - 2012-07-21 11:51


  • Billy - 2012-07-21 00:28

    rather late than never, i too have seen an increase in police presence. well done police, keep it going, dont slack off i saw there was a tik bust in brooklyn, 1.4kg or sumin. surely that is like 1 batch, why is that dealers supplier not tracked down, its 2012 there are amazing things in technology that could assist the police. lol i suppose rubber bullets and water cannons dont help much for that :P

  • ditoare.gypsy - 2012-07-21 00:32

    Zille is a Kingpin, Dowson is a Druglord

      Penny - 2012-07-21 15:38

      And you are a troll!

      alansmartSnr - 2012-07-21 18:32

      Desperate times require desperate measures..SAPD should just get one and grill, fry, kicks and shocks will bring in more intel on these thugs and of course..these type would also "resist arrest" in which case maximum force had to be used.(as against allegations of assault). The only way to solve this would be to use drastic and violent methods to get the intel they need and then even more drastic action to take them out. We need to support the SAPD in operations of this kind. Change the situation with "to much too soon."

  • ditoare.gypsy - 2012-07-21 00:41

    Coming with tectics and strategies, if u want to stop gangsterism in cape stop talking and apply for more police force to government. If u have estimation of 50thugs get 100police end of long discussion while people are dying out there, I repeat use any officer available in cape while calling for more police officers

      rufus.manyama - 2012-07-21 05:31

      Good idea,my brother!

  • busisiwe.kubeka1 - 2012-07-21 07:19

    Let them wipe each other they are good for nothing n they are cultureless too,sometimes they are WEE n sometimes BEE they don't know where they belong

      cyntay - 2012-07-21 12:31

      what about innocent children and women that are getting mowed down with them wiping each other off the planet... ?? it need decisive action..

  • victor.tamaranui - 2012-07-21 07:59

    Some of these folks such as Dawson seem to categorize this issue as a new never before seen Problem. Comeon this issue is solved all over the Planet with the expected Dedication. Show some Spinal fortitude and sort it out, This throwing in the towel is non-productive. If the people in place can not achieve results replace them with dedicated folk who will bring a better life and future to these people in distress.

      victor.tamaranui - 2012-07-21 08:22

      Must I teach yous everything ?? Change the Environment and results will follow. The Environment breeds Gangsters. Yous have 80% of the Community on your side, This makes it simpler. Install new Tree lined roads, Libraries,Upgrade schools, Create more Employment, Give people a sense of belonging by Empowering them with a future subsequently replacing Gangsterism.

      Theuns Coetzee - 2012-07-21 11:08

      CC ec

      alansmartSnr - 2012-07-21 19:15

      ..@.victor.tamaranui No insult meant but it's clear to me (and probably a lot of others) that you dont have foggiest idea of the surroundings of these trouble spots. There are tarred roads, no shacks, libraries and good schools. I know the area very well, I have several students living in Hanover Park and Lavender Hill. As for the are right there but the big culprit who is exacibating the problem is COSATU. They blocked the oppertunities of 43,000 jobs by blocking the governments 2010 budget of R5 billion for Youth employment. Zille begged the government to give the West..Cape their share of this money (which is laying unused but available) to implement job creation. The reasons, which u think are of a social nature is not the reason. It's a power struggle between Nigerian drug lords and who sells where. What I didn't like about your comment is the fact that you think you can teach people about this problem..very conceited, me thinks. Have a nice day

  • raymond.abrahamse - 2012-07-21 08:14

    The sad thing about this is that there Are decent clean living people in these areas who have to,because of circumstances, live with these atrocious and dangerous conditions.I really hope that something will be done to stop the violence.

  • lebo.ntsibolane - 2012-07-21 09:41

    Everything done,it's so intetionally.

  • Theuns Coetzee - 2012-07-21 11:10

    Yycon n xD

  • fezilefezzweezy.dinwa - 2012-07-24 09:27

    I still have faith in Police and mostly specialised units; I strongly believe that if Police from other Province can be deployed Cape town to attend to the gangsteriism areas, we will definately see some difference, the is a unit called TRT, it manages to bring most situations under control

  • fezilefezzweezy.dinwa - 2012-07-24 10:29

    I still have faith in Police and mostly specialised units; I strongly believe that if Police from other Province can be deployed Cape town to attend to the gangsteriism areas, we will definately see some difference, the is a unit called TRT, it manages to bring most situations under control

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