Risk of lawlessness increases

Andre Blom, Fish Hoek Community Police Forum chairman

Thank you, mayoral committee member JP Smith, for admitting to the drop in number of law enforcement resources in the deep south areas (“For the record”, Echo, April 2). Unfortunately, there is a greater risk of the law not being upheld because you chose to allocate these resources from our areas to those that you believe are a higher priority.

You speak as a true politician, favouring those voters required while burning those that you have/had.

In any society there will always be different areas, each with their own challenges.

And, yes, while the City can’t meet all requests – because of constraints on resources and a lack of support for the province from the national government .

It can plan and distribute resources far better to avoid a “Peter is not robbed to pay Paul” scenario.

Yes, it is obvious those who had expanded public works programme (EPWP) contracts would opt for a more job secure contract if offered, but it is rather short-sighted, and reflects poor planning by the City, to have put this offer on the table, knowing the impact it will have on reducing law enforcement capabilities in especially the deep south.

To now state it is a short-term deficit that is addressed by the recruitment and training of additional staff is, once again, an empty political excuse that is supposed to satisfy your voters.

The City has yet to make a visible and positive improvement in enforcing by-laws in the far south, as Mr Smith assures us when he says, “We will deploy specialised units to assist.”

Clovelly bridge and the wetlands, Silverglade sportsfield wetlands, Fish Hoek civic centre and Fish Hoek Main Road and First Avenue are just a few locations severely affected by lawless individuals who have driven up crime and grime beyond an acceptable level. This after numerous meetings and site visits have been held with law enforcement and SAPS officials, all with loads of promises of action yet non forthcoming.

Yes, the City has a duty to increase visible enforcement presence in areas that have been starved of any enforcement for many years, but it is doing so at the cost of an area that was once the Safest Town in South Africa, resulting an unacceptable increase in crime and grime that reduces the beauty of our town to that similar to those areas that were previously starved of visible law enforcement.

This is not, as you so boldly state, a case of being “sadly out of touch with the reality of many of our most vulnerable residents in Cape Town”.

The need of those areas is very much known, but by using cannibalisation to improve something you lose the other.

The Covid-19 lockdown has shown the inability of the now minimal law enforcement in the far south to enforce restrictions. Criminals posing as harmless homeless are exploiting the situation, committing break-ins and property invasions, especially now that neighbourhood watches can’t patrol.

Law enforcement is ignoring the criminals’ known hideouts.