Cape Town mayor Dan Plato on Monday welcomed 18 new law enforcement officers being deployed across the city CBD as part of the safety and security directorate’s focus on filling vacancies and promoting public safety across the metropole.
In a statement, the City of Cape Town said that this deployment was in addition to the R165 million that was made available through the January adjustments budget to increase law enforcement efforts, with an additional 100 law enforcement officers being recruited, along with new CCTV cameras and patrol vehicles being deployed across the metropole.
Plato said: “We have noted concerns about safety within the CBD and we want people to feel safer, so what you see today is part of our direct attempts to address crime and will hopefully result in an improvement in responding to incidents of crime in the CBD. We believe the extra officers will help bolster efforts to address crime in the CBD.”
The majority of the new recruits will be deployed in Bonteheuwel, Bishop Lavis, and Valhalla Park. They have recently completed their peace officer and traffic warden training and will be ready for deployment in the next few weeks. The city said that a further 200 officers would be deployed if the safety and security draft budget released for public comment earlier this month was approved by Council. The public participation period closes on Tuesday, April 24, further adding that the main crimes recorded in the CBD include pickpocketing, ATM fraud, theft out of motor vehicle, drug dealing, as well as aggressive begging.
“The South African Police Service (Saps) remains the primary law enforcement agency responsible for safety, but has been under-resourced for a number of years. We are taking proactive steps to address crime in the CBD, and work with the Saps and all safety partners to address safety concerns,” Plato said.
The area of deployment in the CBD will include Long Street and the Grand Parade. There are now 62 law enforcement officers within the CBD. This includes the Central City Improvement District (CCID) staff complement of 16.
Cape Town Central City Improvement District CEO Tasso Evangelinos said: “The CCID is looking forward to working closely with the city of Cape Town’s law enforcement team. We greatly appreciate the executive mayor’s efforts to increase visible policing in the CBD as the central city needs to be maintained to encourage business investment and tourism to promote continuous economic growth in downtown Cape Town.”
– African News Agency