Western Cape Police and Community Safety on Rural Safety Summit and Policing Needs and Priorities (RSSaPNP) engagement in the Garden Route District Municipality

Department of Community Safety hosts Rural Safety Summit in Garden Route Municipality

On 17 and 18 October 2022, the Western Cape Department of Community Safety hosted its third Rural Safety Summit and Policing Needs and Priorities (RSSaPNP) engagement in the Garden Route District Municipality.

The Garden Route District is one of five District Municipalities where these summits are taking place. The Western Cape Government (WCG) views the safety and security of all communities in the Western Cape as a priority, including that of rural communities. To build on this strategic goal, the Department of Community Safety, together with Department of Agriculture, is working towards improving the wellness and safety of communities in districts and local municipalities.

The Rural Safety Summit addressed:

the innovative use of rural safety technology
collaborative and integrated incident management processes;
the way forward in the District Municipality; and
reinforcing the Whole-of-Society Approach and the Western Cape Safety Plan.

Some of the key outcomes in terms of Rural Safety include that:

Rural Safety has been institutionalised as a Ministerial priority;
The establishment of a Rural Safety Desk;
The launch of a Rural Safety email hotline, namely ruralsafety@elsenburg.com(link sends e-mail); and
an increased number of accredited Farm and Neighbourhood Watch structures.

SAPS presented an overview on the problematic crime categories in the Garden Route District, which include:

contact crimes (attempted murder, assault and sexual offences);
property crimes (house breaking and motor vehicle theft); and
illegal possession of firearms and ammunition.

To ensure safer environments and create a united approach towards fighting crime effective partnerships are needed between the South African Police Services (SAPS), all law enforcement entities, and all spheres of government and communities.

The Policing Needs and Priorities engagement focused on identifying the key policing and safety issues in the District. It focused on issues related to policing and law enforcement, social cohesion, and safety in public spaces.

Various stakeholders formed part of the Garden Route Rural Safety Summit and PNP engagement. All spheres of government were represented. State entities present included the Department of Community Safety, the Department of Agriculture, the Department of Health, the Department of Social Development, various role-players from the Garden Route District Municipality, local municipalities in the Garden Route district, Central Karoo District Municipality, Cape Winelands District Municipality, the Western Cape Police Ombudsman; Private Security; Afriforum, Community Police Forums (CPFs) in the district; Neighbourhood and Farm Watch structures. The SAPS, being the key partner, was well presented.

‘I was once again encouraged by the turnout and engagement we had with all stakeholders in the Garden Route District during the latest Summit. The more I interact with the various municipalities, neighbourhood and farm watches, CPFs, SAPS, sister government departments and various others, the more I’m convinced that as a united front we would be able to overcome crime. There are various challenges, but with a strategic, coordinated, and unified approach where all relevant stakeholders are involved, the better our chance to create a safer Western Cape. Let’s continue working. I’m looking forward to engaging other Districts during more summits about how we can ensure a safer province.’ Minister Reagen Allen

These engagements are intended to contribute significantly to the prevention and reduction of violent crime and murders, and greater safety and cohesion in rural areas.

Other RSSaPNP’s are currently being finalised with the next one scheduled to take place in the Cape Winelands District from 14 to 15 November 2022.

The Department will continue to render its services and impact lives to the best of its ability and is committed to creating a Safer Province FOR YOU.

Source: Government of South Africa