Share this article:
Cape Town – Western Cape MEC Albert Fritz welcomes the training of a further 250 Law Enforcement Advancement Plan (LEAP) officers which commences on Monday.
Fritz said that meant the officers would be ready for deployment to hot spot areas on the Cape Flats by mid-December.
This comes amid arguments for greater provincial policing powers from the Western Cape Government.
Over the next few weeks, the LEAP officers will be receiving training on how to use a handgun, how to stop and approach, radio procedures, how to use a tonfa (enforcement baton), and how to use pepper spray.
Fritz said the officers would also be receiving training on how to open a docket, take statements and understand the powers and duties of LEAP officers.
“To date, 721 law enforcement officers and 110 LEAP commanders have already been deployed. The additional 250 officers will bring the total number of officers deployed to 1.081. LEAP Officers work to increase visible policing in the identified crime hot spots in the Metro,” he said.
Fritz also welcomed the successes by LEAP officers over the past week.
Officers conducted 7 078 person-searches, 345 house searches and 879 vehicle searches in hot spot areas.
Officers conducted 104 autonomous operations and 100 joint operations with the SAPS.
The successful operations led to the confiscation of 60 mandrax tablets, 76 half mandrax tablets, 66 packets and parcels of dagga, 96 packets of crystal meth, 96 units and 18 straws of heroin along with other narcotics.
Officers also confiscated many dangerous weapons which include a panga, two swords along with knives, illegal firearms and ammunition.
“Over a seven-day period, we are searching more than a thousand suspicious people in our crime hot spots every day. We are searching more than 100 vehicles every day.
“Their (LEAP officers) work rate is really impressive. And with the addition of 250 more officers, this work rate will only increase and intensify,” Fritz said.
He said the local government wanted more policing responsibility, so that it could make a policy that spoke to the needs of the province and support the Western Cape SAPS to a greater extent than they were doing.
“The Constitution makes provision for greater involvement by the provinces, beyond just an oversight role. We can’t afford to be mere spectators ticking boxes. Our citizens need us to be more involved” Fritz added.
Premier Alan Winde welcomed the announcement and said that when the province launched its safety plan on September 19, 2019, it did so with the aim of making communities safer through a combination of violence prevention and law enforcement initiatives.
“It is only fitting that as we approach the second anniversary of this launch that we have begun training the third cohort of LEAP officers, to be deployed in our crime hotspots by the end of the year.
“I commend the City and provincial government on their joint partnership, which has made the LEAP programme possible, and which has made our most vulnerable communities feel safer,” he said.