Western Cape's police shortage receiving ‘lots of attention’ – top cop

2016-04-12 20:00
(Jenna Etheridge, News24)

(Jenna Etheridge, News24)

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Cape Town – The shortage of police resources in the Western Cape is being actively addressed, provincial police commissioner Lieutenant General Khombinkosi Jula said on Tuesday.

Jula said the matter was receiving “a lot of attention”. He told journalists they were receiving “a lot of support” from acting national police commissioner Lieutenant General Khomotso Phahlane.

Management was busy finalising a solution. “There is a process where we are getting a lot of members allocated to the province,” he said.

Candidates would also receive training at the police college from Monday.

“It is being taken very seriously but we know it is not going to be possible to have members that are available in all places at the same time.”

Western Cape under-resourced

He said they were mobilising residents, metro police, community policing forums and even churches to work with them in dealing with the scourge of crime.

Jula was responding to concerns by provincial education MEC, Debbie Schafer, about police visibility.

“The Western Cape is the most under-resourced province in South Africa with 85% of our stations under-staffed. This could be as a result of the 2 392 posts that have simply not been filled,” she said in a statement on Tuesday.

She was concerned about pupils’ safety in gang-infested areas.

A turf war between gangs in Manenberg and other areas on the Cape Flats had seen a recent flare-up of shootings.

Highly skilled officers deployed

Jula said highly skilled and trained police officers had been deployed there. They would remain until the violence had subsided and order was restored.

Jula said it was not true that they had, or planned to suspend Operation Combat. This was the police’s anti-gang strategy unit.

Rather, they were assembling a team trained to deal with high risk situations to “confront gang leaders head on”.

Capabilities were being strengthened on all levels right down to the police numbers at stations, added deputy provincial commissioner for detection services, Major General Jeremy Vearey.

Read more on:    cape town  |  gangs  |  crime

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