Cape Town – Western Cape Premier Alan Winde and provincial MEC for Police Oversight and Community Safety Reagen Allen met with senior officials from the Swartland Traffic and Law Enforcement on its policing successes of its K9 Unit.
The visit was part of Winde’s Listening Tour outreach.
The Swartland municipality’s K9 Unit was launched in October 2020.
To date, the unit has seized alcohol to the value of more than R225 000, seized drugs worth more than R424 000, confiscated 300kg of stolen copper and arrested 159 suspects during 197 operations.
“While buoyed by the effectiveness of the unit, which works closely with other law enforcement agencies including the Swartland municipality’s Reaction unit, officials appealed for more funding to expand these policing functions, enhance collaboration and bolster crime intelligence gathering.
“The Reaction Unit operates much like the Western Cape Government (WCG) and City of Cape Town’s Law Enforcement Advancement Plan (LEAP), which has had a tangible impact on pushing down murders in areas where officers are deployed,” Winde said.
He said LEAP can be rolled out to other municipal regions but agreements between municipalities must be reached.
“Can you imagine the impact of expanding LEAP beyond Cape Town and even the province? Using our data-driven and evidence-based crime-fighting model, we would be able to break the back of crime,” Winde said.
Allen said regardless of where a town is situated in the province, the safety of residents is the primary concern.
He said his department will continue to support and cooperate with local governments and safety stakeholders as this was vital to strengthening the fight against crimes.
“Drugs and other criminal elements are suffocating our communities, and they are unwelcome,” Allen said.
Swartland Mayor, Harold Cleophas said he appreciated the crime-fighting partnerships developed between his city and the Western Cape Government.
“Our K9 unit is an asset to us all,” he said.
Winde concluded that it was everyone’s responsibility to tackle crime.
He also stated criminals are currently taking advantage of load shedding as the country continues to be gripped by ongoing power cuts.