South Africa, Cape Town – Western Cape police highlighted various measures to keep residents safe during the holiday season, as they launched their festive season readiness campaign.
The event was attended by provincial police commissioner Lieutenant-General Yolisa Matakata and Mayco member for safety JP Smith, among others.
Public order police and the police’s K9 Units also took part in a display, showing off their skills and illustrating their readiness for the festive season.
Matakata said they are ready to fight crime during this period.
“We have responsibilities to make sure that our communities are safer and we as law enforcement need to be there to support them during these difficult times. This is a time where we see the prevalence of violent crimes, even where people are enjoying themselves,” she said.
“We request they enjoy themselves in a responsible manner. In some instances, we end up having to arrest people for the crimes that they commit while they enjoy themselves. We call upon our communities to practise safety in terms of Covid-19, hygiene and masks that must be put on and continue to look after ourselves.”
“Our visibility is important as it is a deterrent to crime as well as making sure we go into communities, have campaigns and spread the message of reporting crime. During this time schools are about to close, children are always victims of crime and they go missing. It is upon parents to ensure that their children are not neglected, know at all times where they are and keep an eye on them. This is a difficult time for our kids if they are not being looked after by our parents,” she said.
In terms of crime, Matakata said some of the areas of concern are gender-based violence and femicide.
“We have problems where people are being violated in their home through house robberies which is a real fearful crime. We also have a problem with hijackings where vehicles are hijacked and people are not drinking responsibly as alcohol is contributing to the murders we are confronted with. People assaulting one another are one of the contributing problems we see in violent crimes. There needs to be a different way we address conflict and arguments as communities or people in general,” she said.
Smith said the City valued the close working relationship with the police.
“On a daily basis, our staff are carrying out integrated and coordinated operations with Saps. We are working with them whether it is in the leap areas, liquor enforced operations, on festive-season planning or protest actions. As we saw at the beginning of lockdown, if we take alcohol out of the equation, society transforms. We have increased focus on alcohol on the roads as liquor plays a major role in unnecessary fatalities,” he said.