The Democratic Alliance welcomes the fact that CPFs and neighbourhood watches can now operate under level 3. This will greatly assist in crime prevention in our province.
Fighting crime is a partnership between the community and police and getting patrollers back on the streets will assist with quelling liquor lawlessness and boozy street parties by encouraging social distancing. SAPS alone cannot deal with this and we are witnessing the absence of community leadership.
We welcome the letter of the Deputy National Commissioner Lieutenant General S.F. Masemola that was issued on the 5th June 2020, which outlines the conditions under which neighbourhood watches and community safety patrollers may operate under.
Patrollers are able to patrol in keeping with the regulations. Community safety patrollers must be in possession of a valid permit at all times which must be issued by the forum to which they are attached.
Form 2 of the regulations must be used for this purpose and at all times they must operate within the broad spectrum of the regulations.
Having the neighborhood watch and the community safety patrollers back on the streets will greatly assist in reducing the crime rate and creating an environment of safety and security. Given the shortage of manpower that SAPS currently has in the Eastern Cape, these additional resources must be seen as a force multiplier, which is desperately needed in the fight against crime.
High visibility patrolling has been proven as an effective measure to reduce crime rates in both urban and rural areas. The return of CPF and neighbourhood watches will be welcomed, especially in rural areas, where they are often first responders.
Even during the height of the lockdown, there was still crime taking place in the province. From the 1st to the 17th April 2020, there was 1294 contact crimes and 1675 property crimes reported in the province
The current relaxation of lockdown restrictions is also expected to see a correlating increase in crime as freedom of movement increases
More boots on the ground will assist in fighting crime in the Eastern Cape.
I am calling on community leaders to step up in the fight against this virus and assist with social distancing.