The City’s Law Enforcement Auxiliary Program has been active since 2013 and has grown in leaps and bounds since its launch. It underpins the willingness of many ordinary residents to participate in building safer communities.
These volunteers play a valuable supporting role in communities, providing additional boots on the ground after-hours and on weekends. They assist SAPS in making arrests including stolen property, attempted murder and possession of drugs, among others.
However, in the past five years, SAPS has been reduced by nearly 12 000 members across the country, with another R11 billion shaved off its budget by Minister Cele in the last year. This means fewer boots on the ground to prevent crime within the city. The City’s Councillor, JP Smith recently posted on Facebook saying, SAPS members are struggling, since their manpower is continuously being reduced.
“Our SAPS member are struggling to perform operational tasks that rely heavily on manpower, such as heading into the most dangerous areas to execute arrest warrants, sometimes for the most heinous of crimes,” said Smith.
Recently, the Auxiliary Law Enforcement volunteers added 10 pairs of additional boots on the ground. Last week Saturday, Muizenberg SAPS needed to arrest a suspect in Seawinds, according to Smith. He also added that with additional Law Enforcement resources, the local SAPS were readily able to complete the desired operational outcome.
Furthermore, Smith mentioned that volunteer officers are trained up and deployed, not only to enforce by-laws and provide crime prevention duties, but also integrated to support our local SAPS.
Smith concluded by saying: “Cape Town still holds itself as the only municipality in South Africa to have a successful volunteer Law Enforcement program.”