Municipal police must serve all Capetonians, not only the rich

Municipal police must serve all Capetonians, not only the rich

11 December 2001

The ANC rejects the decision by the DA controlled City to limit the use of the new Municipal Police Force to the city centre, avoiding areas of great security need such as the Cape Flats and our townships.

ANC Western Cape Spokesperson for Safety and Security Shaun Byneveldt MPL said: "The Municipal Police present the city with a golden opportunity to redress past imbalances, to give momentum to transformation and to ensure that all Capetonians enjoy peace and security. The challenge is however to ensure a service that is effective in the struggle against crime. This has to include proper and meaningful deployment of resources.

"The recent child rape and murder cases are a stark reminder of the crime problems on the Cape Flats and in our townships. Violent crimes against women and children and gangsterism is part of daily life on the Cape Flats and in our townships. This demands our urgent attention. These Capetonians deserve immediate relief and this extra city security capacity must include them as a priority. The City’s decision to prioritise the city centre and tourists is shortsighted and a serious indictment on their commitment to the needs of the vulnerable and the poor. It smacks of old style elitist policing which should have no place in an equal and democratic society.

"The festive season is a high crime period that affects all Capetonians. City Police Chief Sangster should be aware of the policing needs of poor, high crime areas and not pander to the interests of the wealthy first. You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to know from statistics where the greatest need exists and that it should receive priority attention. The Municipal Police are not here to to defend the wealthy and tourists only.

"It is clear that city cannot be integrated in terms of policing as long as the DA runs it on the basis of its policy to cater to the safety concerns of the rich first. The new Municipal Police must make a difference and have a real impact on crime. Previously neglected poor areas must be prioritised. We call on the City and its Chief of Police to urgently review this ill-considered decision and to do the right thing.

"The ANC supports the MEC for Safety and Security’s call for the Municipal Police to be utilised effectively according to greatest need, especially on the Cape Flats and in our townships."

Issued by African National Congress Western Cape

For further comment, please contact Shaun Byneveldt MPL on 082 291 5553.