Poor ar­eas have the least po­lice re­sources

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - FRONT PAGE - YAZEED KAMAL­DIEN

THE WESTERN Cape’s most vul­ner­a­ble ar­eas have the poor­est re­sourced po­lice sta­tions, and the pro­vin­cial leg­is­la­ture’s com­mit­tee on Com­mu­nity Safety wants the sit­u­a­tion ad­dressed.

Com­mit­tee chair­woman Mireille Wenger said they would hold pub­lic hear­ings next week to find out from lo­cals how un­der­staffed po­lice sta­tions af­fect their lives.

The hear­ings are sched­uled to run from Mon­day to Wed­nes­day in Cape Town, Worces­ter and Ge­orge.

Wenger said the province “suf­fers from short­ages of po­lice of­fi­cers”, ac­count­ing for at least 60 per­cent of the na­tional shortage.

She added that 128 pro­vin­cial po­lice sta­tions were un­der­staffed, “which is 85 per­cent of our Western Cape po­lice sta­tions”.

“This is borne out by the very poor po­lice-to-pop­u­la­tion ra­tios ex­pe­ri­enced in our most vul­ner­a­ble com­mu­ni­ties,” said Wenger. The na­tional po­lice-topop­u­la­tion ra­tio is one of­fi­cer for ev­ery 358 peo­ple, but in Cape Town 75 per­cent of our po­lice sta­tions have fewer num­bers of of­fi­cers serv­ing their com­mu­ni­ties than the na­tional av­er­age. Twenty-one of these sta­tions have fewer than one of­fi­cer for ev­ery 500 residents of that precinct.”

“We re­solved to host pub­lic hear­ings to un­der­stand po­lice re­sourc­ing chal­lenges in the Western Cape, and to ad­dress the im­pact that the lack of

The province

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