On the morning of March 8th, the Muizenberg community came face-to-face with the impact of gang violence from neighbouring communities when an incident arising from a court appearance spilled out onto the York Road Parking area. Shots were fired and MID Public Safety and SAPS responded swiftly. The incident was over before many even knew it had happened and suspects were apprehended as they tried to make their escape via Fish Hoek.
This is the reality of what SAPS means when they refer to being stretched to the limit. In the last 3 months a significant number of murders have taken place within the Muizenberg SAPS precinct, a direct result of gang related violence.
We therefore encourage the communities surrounding the areas where gang violence is rife to support law enforcement and crime prevention efforts by adopting a community social responsibility approach.
Neighbouring communities like Muizenberg, Lakeside, Kalk Bay, Fish Hoek, Steenberg, Marina Da Gama, etc. immediately strengthen SAPS in their resources by being active participants in community safety and security initiatives, such as local neighbourhood watches. Enabling SAPS to respond to serious crimes such as gang violence, that can very easily spill over into communities as seen in Muizenberg on March 8th.
In a debriefing meeting held with all safety and security enforcement authorities and stakeholders in December, Captain Knapp of Muizenberg SAPS, thanked everyone for their collaborative efforts during the festive season as it allowed them to focus on the gang violence in communities like Overcome Heights and Lavender Hill. For some this reality only becomes evident when it meets them on their doorsteps . . . Let’s not be complacent, let’s focus on being part of the solution.
The MID continues to work closely with all law enforcement stakeholders and to this end facilitated a safety planning meeting with SAPS and Law Enforcement on Monday, 12th March, to strategize how best to support SAPS when there are high profile cases on the Muizenberg court role. This discussion will be addressed at higher level where information is classified and we trust our partners to implement and work together with the MID in supporting their efforts all the way.
Complacency is not in our vocabulary and we encourage everyone to be part of improving safety in and around their communities.
Engage with us by participating in your local neighbourhood watch, join community clean-up campaigns, fund LPR/CCTV cameras for the Ward 64 control room initiatives, fund the MID towards supporting additional safety efforts in collaboration with various other partners and sharing vital observations such as an abandoned vehicle in your street. Every little bit helps towards improving safety in the area – we need to work together.
Operations Manager for the MID public safety contract with GRIT, Mr. Fradie, was one of the first respondent at the incident in York Road and his observations have been crucial in educating everyone on what NOT to do at a crime scene:
- Do not tamper with any evidence.
- Do not identify to the world who the witnesses are – this is dangerous. The safety of witnesses is vital to any criminal investigation and their information and identity should never be on public display.
- Do not share images and hear-say on social media.
- Do obey the instructions by officers on the scene.
Together we can help improve safety and security in all communities by becoming part of the solution.
Right now we have 32 volunteers participating in Law Enforcement Auxiliary training, 3 nights a week, 3 hours per training session and every Saturday. That is 16 hours of volunteer training a week for six weeks to help increase visible enforcement.
We thank Law Enforcement Chief, Rudolph Wiltshire, for the service delivery and collaboration improvement in the Area West Law Enforcement division. The Chief’s support positively impacted on the Festive Season safety plan under the leadership of PI Ivor Ramsay and the success of this resulted in the current Law Enforcement Auxiliary training offered in the South.