Since 2020, the Law Enforcement Advancement Plan (LEAP) officers have time-and-time again shown how effective they are in combating crime, particularly murder. LEAP stems from the Western Cape Safety Plan (WCSP) and is an initiative of the Western Cape Government (WCG) in partnership with the City of Cape Town (CoCT). The WCSP commenced in September 2019.
Since LEAP commenced, up until 30 April 2023, officers have confiscated 360 firearms. These committed officers have during the same period, also arrested 16 270 individuals for various offenses. The homicide report using provincial forensic pathology data indicates some promising results. LEAP areas recorded a total of 428 homicides in quarter 4, January to March 2023, of the 2022/23 financial year. This means homicides in LEAP areas decreased by 9% from 468 cases in 2021/22 to 428 in 2022/23, when compared with the same period of the previous year.
Comparing the 2021/22 financial year with the 2022/23 financial year, homicides in 8 LEAP precincts decreased, while 5 increased. This is the first time in LEAP’s 3-year history that so many precincts recorded a decrease.
- Decreases were recorded in Atlantis (23%), Bishop Lavis (10%), Gugulethu (5%), Harare (8%), Khayelitsha (17%), Mfuleni (6%) and Samora Machel (2%).
- Increases occurred in Delft (12%), Mitchells Plain (25%), Nyanga (47%), Philippi (28%) and Philippi East (45%).
More than R 1 billion has already been invested in LEAP. For this current financial year, a further R 350 million has been allocated. In addition to this, R 10 million has also been set aside for the establishment of LEAP stations.
Western Cape Minister of Police Oversight and Community Safety, Reagen Allen said: “These preliminary results are truly encouraging. It shows that our investment is paying dividends. One murder will always remain one murder too many, and we must continue doing everything in our power to combat these murders and all other crimes across the entire Western Cape.
We are deeply concerned about the steep increases in some of the areas. We have our work cut out for ourselves. Our primary goal in the Western Cape Safety Plan (WCSP) is very clear. We have committed to reduce the murder rate by 50% by 2029. It is of utmost importance that safer communities are created.”
LEAP is strategically deployed, and its operations are based on evidence and data. This approach is also used as part of monitoring and evaluation to determine the effectiveness of LEAP and inform a cycle of continuous improvement. This includes our top 10 murder areas in the Western Cape, such as Delft, Gugulethu, Harare, Khayelitsha (Site B policing precinct), Kraaifontein, Mfuleni, Mitchells Plain, Nyanga, Philippi East, and Samora Machel. Other high crime areas in which they are deployed are Atlantis, Bishop Lavis and Hanover Park, along with Lavender Hill, Steenberg and Grassy Park.
LEAP officers work with a multitude of law enforcement agencies which is inclusive of other City of Cape Town Law Enforcement Agencies, the South African Police Service (SAPS), neighbourhood watches (NHWs), Community Policing Forums (CPFs) and various other stakeholders.
“In order for us to ensure areas where we can live in peace and dignity, it is vital that we all pull in the same direction. None of us should perpetuate crime or be a hindrance when any law enforcement agency is seeking to fulfill its mandate, which is to keep us safe. Let us all play our part,” concluded Minister Reagen Allen.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Western Cape Police Oversight and Community Safety, South Africa.