Only 10 new Police Officers for new police station at Lentegeur

Mireille Wenger MPP

DA Western Cape Spokesperson on Community Safety

Responses to my parliamentary replies show that the new police station in Lentegeur, Mitchells Plain, received a sum total of 10 new police officers. The remaining officers manning this station have been taken away from other police stations, most notably Mitchells Plain.

The new police station that was opened in Lentegeur, Mitchells Plain in May 2013 was opened with much fanfare and hope that the new station would bring additional resources to crime plagued areas of Mitchells Plain. The recent release of the annual crime statistics showed that the Mitchells Plain police station contributed the most volume of crimes of any other station in the country. This station showed a significant 74% increase in murder, from 91 murders in 2012/13 to 158 in 2013/14. In its first year of operation, the new station in Lentegeur recorded 13 murder reports, 53 sexual crime reports, 128 assault with the intent to inflict grievous bodily harm reports and 226 common robbery reports.

It is most concerning that under these circumstances of high levels of crime and violence, Mitchell’s Plain police station lost 20% of its police officers to Lentegeur. 126 officers were transferred from Mitchells Plain to Lentegeur when it opened. A further 28 officers were transferred to Lentegeur from elsewhere. A net total of only 10 new police posts were created for the new Lenteguer police station. This means that between the two stations, the area only receives 10 additional police officers. Furthermore, Mitchells Plain will not be receiving any new recruits to fill vacancies as part of the 668 entry level posts that have recently been recruited.

It is clear that the decrease in number of operational officers serving the Mitchells Plain police station is having a negative effect on crime in the area.

The statistics show that new police stations do not in fact provide additional police manpower to the region they serve, but only spread more equitably the existing police man-power. 23 police stations contribute to 50% of all violent crime in the province (Mitchells Plain being one of them) surely these stations should be given substantial and significant additional resources, support and manpower – this would be tackling crime head on.

I will be writing to General Lamoer to request that the former manpower of Mitchells Plain be restored and that additional members be recruited for Lentegeur so that the net total of police officers increases in the Mitchells Plain cluster. This will better enable police to effectively prevent, combat and investigate crime and protect the residents of Mitchells Plain.