City of Cape Town working to combat crime

There’s nothing the Mother City doesn’t have. Sights, sounds and sensations all form part of what makes Cape Town the place to be and City to live in, unfortunately, ‘we have it all’, also refers to a high crime rate and this is why we’re constantly pushing the envelope to decreasing the numbers and once again the City of Cape Town has implemented programs to fight this epidemic.

“The City of Cape Town, in our commitment to protecting all our citizens and making this a Safe City, has introduced a number of initiatives aimed at reducing crime-related activity in the city. We recognise that citizens need to be safe in their city. If they feel threatened by violence or crime, they can never truly access the opportunities that Cape Town provides for them,” said Alderman JP Smith, Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security.

The City of Cape Town has put in place a number of initiatives to reduce crime.

One of these is the Gang Unit which started with its operations on 1 December 2011. By forming a focused and dedicated Unit for what is an endemic problem in the city, it was hoped that intelligence could be gathered that would lead to the apprehension of known gang leaders in communities.

Notorious crime hot spots in the Mother City.

Woodstock – Gympie Street




The operational focus of the unit includes:

  • Gathering information on gangs/gang members and gang activity in the pilot areas.
  • Tracking known associates of gang members where relevant.
  • Conducting observation operations of known premises associated with gang activity, which includes – illegal narcotics, illegal arms and
  • ammunition, prostitution, alcohol etc.
  • Sharing information with other law enforcement agencies, such as the SAPS.
  • Applying for and executing search warrants autonomously and in joint ventures.
  • Sharing information with Metro Police Operational Areas for further action.
  • Addressing gang-related complaints.

Successes since the inception of the Unit include:

  • 30 confirmed gang members have been arrested for possession of narcotics.
  • 68 arrests at alleged gang run premises where people are dealing in narcotics for gang members.
  • 108 suspects arrested in total for such offences as murder, attempted murder and the possession of illegal firearms.
  • The confiscation of amongst others, 472 packets of tik, 212 mandrax tablets and cash totalling R33 000.
A group of youngsters abusing tik and mandrax.
Another initiative that this administration has undertaken is the newly formed Housing Safety Unit which was created with a dual purpose. The unit will prevent anti-social behaviour in the social housing environment through enforcement – thus protecting residents, dealing with crime and improving quality of life. They will also combat and investigate instances of lease agreement violations, whilst protecting City assets against harm and vandalism.

The new unit will enforce the City’s by-laws with respect to illegal and anti-social activities, while also ensuring that those residents living in City-owned housing are the rightful occupants in terms of lease agreements. This is part of the City’s commitment to ensuring that Cape Town is a Caring and Safe City.

The officers have been empowered to act as Peace Officers, having the necessary powers to effectively and efficiently police the City’s 43 500 rental stock units. They will be deployed to hotspot areas identified by the Human Settlements Directorate, taking a 24-hour availability approach.

In addition to this, we are preparing to launch our School Resource Officer (SRO) and our Neighbour Safety Officer (NSO) programmes in July. Like our Public Transport Interchange (PTI) unit, which we launched at the end of last year, these further initiatives are aimed at making our most vulnerable crime–ridden communities safer by deploying dedicated staff to these functions.

The citizens of Cape Town can be certain that this administration will continue to work tirelessly to make this a city that is safe for all its residents.



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