Illegal firearms are the main generators of serious violent crimes in the Western Cape province, and it is on this basis that attempts are being made to rid identified communities of illegal firearms and ammunition.
This was said by police spokesperson Novela Potelwa, who was one of the gun crime specialists in South Africa, that gathered virtually for the 5th Interpol Firearm Forensics Symposium to focus on preventive crime and gun strategies.
Nearly 500 gun crime specialists from 100 countries participated in the symposium.
According to IOL, the three-day symposium, which ended on Thursday, had been organised in co-operation with Ultra Electronics Forensic Technology, with ballistic experts, forensic scientists, law enforcement professionals, policy makers and public safety officials addressing the latest challenges facing law enforcement in firearm-related crime.
Serious violent crimes
She said in the majority of incidence of serious violent crimes such as murders, attempted murders, armed robberies, hijackings, business robberies and cash-in-transit robberies, the weapon of choice were firearms.
This came as the Western Cape was plagued by gang violence, which has resulted in dozens of people, including innocent bystanders dying or wounded.
Just a month ago, a shooting that was part of an internal gang conflict in Hanover Park, resulted in a girl age 4 being wounded in the face.
Residents were in the courtyard when gangsters unexpectedly opened fire indiscriminately.
Hanover Park community policing forum chairperson Ebhrahim Abhahams said at the time, called on SAPS to work with the community to tackle gang violence and said it was critical in making communities safer.
The incident took place despite the Western Cape Department of Community Safety having deployed at least 60 law enforcement officers to the area last year to assist the police in joint operations.
Picture: Cape Town etc gallery