Suspects as young as 15 years old have been arrested for serious crimes in Cape Town this past week. A total of 148 people, of all ages, were arrested in just one week by Metro Police and Traffic Services, of which more than 80% of the arrests were for driving under the influence of alcohol. Ten suspects were arrested for possession of drugs, firearms and stolen property.
Mayco member for Safety, Security and Social Services, JP Smith said in a statement, “It is very unsettling that, as we commemorate youth month, our Metro Police Department is arresting suspects as young as 15 for very serious crimes.”
Crimes committed in one week were:
– On Friday, a 15-year-old was one of three suspects arrested for possession of drugs in Grassy Park
– At 10pm on Saturday evening, three young men aged 18 and 19 were taken into custody along with an older suspect and were found in possession of a firearm in Bonteheuwel
– Around midnight this past Sunday, a 21-year-old woman was arrested for theft in the CBD after being caught on camera fleeing with a stolen cellphone
– In Lavender Hill, a 21-year-old male was arrested for drug possession by the Metro Police Gang and Drug Task Team, later the same officers later arrested a 16-year-old male for the same offence in Hanover Park
– On Tuesday 5 June, two 17-year-old males were arrested for possession of a stolen motorcycle in Athlone
– In Hanover Park, a 15-year-old was arrested for possession of drugs after a whistle-blower tipped off the Metro Police K9 unit that he was selling drugs on a street corner. His stash was found hidden in a nearby electrical box.
Smith said issues around young people need to be addressed by ensuring they remain in school; have a sustainable extra-mural activities to keep them occupied; and that their home environment is one where they are able to thrive and receive sufficient guidance. Some of these are aspects that the government can and should be involved in, but a lot of what needs to be done starts at home.
A movement to educate, protect and nature our young people who are essentially our future must be made to change the trend of youth crime happening in our city.