LEAP officers helping to keep communities safer during blackouts

Western Cape Premier Alan Winde and provincial Police Oversight and Community Safety Minister Reagen Allen joined a group of Law Enforcement Advancement Plan (LEAP) members on patrol in Hanover Park.

Apart from the devastation wreaked by mass power blackouts on the economy and jobs, it also leaves communities more vulnerable to criminals. “Community members often complain to me about the link between loadshedding and crime: criminals are taking full advantage of rolling blackouts, preying on law-abiding citizens under the cover of darkness,” said Premier Winde

Statistics compiled by the South African Police Service (SAPS) in the Western Cape show the correlation between loadshedding and crime:

A sample of contact crimes committed between December 2022 and January 2023 in the Western Cape included murders, attempted murders, aggravated robberies, rape, sexual assault, assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm, and assault common.

The property crimes analysed included burglaries (residential and business), theft out of/from motor vehicle and theft of motor vehicle. The overall findings from the analysis indicated the following percentage crime committed during loadshedding:

· Contact Crime : 23.7%

· Property Crime: 29.2%

· Provincially, on average, 25.7% of the sample analysed occurred during loadshedding.

From the analysis, it is clearly evident that the sub-categories of property crimes contributed mostly to the percentage of crimes committed during loadshedding. The average contribution of crimes committed during loadshedding per policing district are as follows:

· City of Cape Town District: 25.4%;

· Cape Winelands District: 25.9%;

· Central Karoo District: 20.1% · West Coast District: 28.0%;

· Garden Route: 26.7%; and

· Overberg District: 23.4%

Police stations with the highest volume of crimes committed during loadshedding are:

· Delft

· Bishop Lavis

· Nyanga

· Worcester

· Harare

· Da Gamaskop

· Durbanville

· Cape Town Central

· Ravensmead

· Table View

“LEAP is adding value to the war on crime. We know we still have a long way to go in beating back crime, but we are on the right track, using data and evidence to guide our policing efforts,” the Premier told the group of LEAP officers ahead of their deployment for the evening.

The Western Cape Government (WCG) and City of Cape Town (CoCT) have incorporated technology into their crime-fighting arsenal. This was demonstrated last night through the use of a drone that was deployed to help LEAP and SAPS officers patrolling in a section of Hanover Park. The drone is used to enhance situational awareness, serving as an extra set of eyes, this time from the sky, to help officers on the ground in their patrols.

Allen told the deployment of officers, “We are deeply grateful for the work LEAP and all our law enforcement agencies do for our citizens. Thank you for sacrificing your time. It is a particularly difficult time as we lost a LEAP member this week in a deadly shooting in Crossroads. My deepest sympathies go out to the slain officer’s family and his colleagues. We all feel the pain of his loss.” The Premier added, “You put your lives on the line each day for the sake of our citizens. For this, we are deeply grateful. Your service to our communities is not taken for granted. You are making a big difference in Cape Town and the way in which people are thinking about crime fighting in the country. We appreciate and value all you do for our residents.”

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