Western Cape Minister of Police Oversight and Community Safety, Reagen Allen, visited the Swellendam on March 1 and commended municipal officials for their commitment to address matters related to crime and violence.
“There is clear commitment from this executive to address matters related to crime and I welcome their willingness to collaborate with all relevant role players within the safety space,” said Allen.
While a safety exercise was conducted in the form of a road block, Allan also engaged with the Executive Mayor of Swellendam, Francois Du Rand, along with the Portfolio Chairperson of Corporate Services, Councillor Elna Lamprecht, the Overberg District Municipality’s Chairperson for Community Services, Councillor Steven Fourie, and various other officials, about safety matters in the municipal area.
Allen noted his concern around the fact that Swellendam does not have an accredited neighbourhood watch or Community Policing Forum.
“I have requested that officials in the Western Cape Department of Community Safety attend to this, as we require all of society to play a role in combatting crime,” said Allen.
“No one knows their community better than those living in it. This is a matter that we are addressing with urgency. I would like the entire community to get involved in these processes, so that no one is excluded.”
At the roadblock Allen expressed his delight that there was good collaboration between local and provincial traffic law enforcement agencies – including the K-9 unit.
“We require a lot more examples of these cross border and integrated operations to ensure that illicit items are not transported along our highways, nor are they given an opportunity to take root in any of our communities,” Allen added.
Between 15:00-17:00 129 vehicles were stopped and 13 fines to the value of R14 500 were issued. One vehicle was impounded.
Allen expresses more reason for concern on the policing front
“I note the additional 19 new recruits allocated to the Swellendam South African Police Services (SAPS) station. Of these, 10 will be heading to the public order policing. This means, instead of having 104 members, the station will only have 94 officers, given their current establishment of 84.
He said that it is deeply worrying as the station not only serves the broader community, but they also have to attend to 272 farms in the area.
“We will continue to lobby for more resources in the area. This station like so many others across our province just once again confirmed why devolution and a new policing model is required.
Instead of strengthening the hands of SAPS in the province, the national government continues to show their disinterest in supporting the dedicated men and women in blue.”