The fight against crime in the province received a significant boost as 500 new learner law enforcement officers took part in the official passing out parade at Athlone stadium on Sunday February 9, signalling the start of their deployment.
The 500 officers are part of the City of Cape Town’s Law Enforcement Advancement Programme (LEAP), which is jointly funded by the Western Cape Government in line with the Western Cape Safety Plan.
Each of the 500 recruits will now be deployed into communities based on data and crime trends. In the Western Cape, 10 areas account for nearly 50% of all the province’s murders.
The first three areas into which they will be deployed are Delft, Khayelitsha Site C and Philippi, including Hanover Park. Deployment will be progressive, and as new Law Enforcement Officers are recruited, will expand into more areas.
The next 500 learner law enforcement officers will be deployed later this year, and recruitment for these officers is already under way.
All of the officers have undergone the required training including Peace Officer Training, a Traffic Warden Certificate and training in the by-laws of the City of Cape Town. They have also received, and will continue to receive further training.
Premier Alan Winde said: “We promised the people of this province that we will do everything in our power to make it a safer place to live. Today, the Western Cape Government and the City of Cape Town will be significantly boosting the number of boots on the ground, as a deterrent to crime in communities most impacted by it.
“This is just one aspect of our safety plan. We are also implementing a wide range of initiatives, across departments, aimed at violence prevention.”
Cape Town Mayor, Dan Plato said there was a clear need to prioritise the safety of residents.
“I allocated a significant portion of the budget to enable the recruitment of additional officers and the purchasing of more patrol vehicles. It is my hope that other spheres of government will see what can be achieved when we work together and will want to work with us too,” he added.
The 500 law enforcement officers will be contracted until June 2023.