Cape Town registers an increase of protests by 249%; land invasion 53% higher

Cape Town – Mother City's law enforcement officials have arrested more than 12,000 people in the past year – 17% more than in 2016 – while violent protests and land invasions are on the rise.

These and other safety figures were part of the annual statistics of the city of Cape Town for its Directorate Safety and Security for the financial year 2017/18.

Member of the Mayoral Safety and Security Committee; and social services JP Smith said that year-on-year there was an increase of 53% in the number of registered land invasion and an increase of 249% in the number of protests.

"This resulted in a knock-on effect on planned enforcement operations for law enforcement, metropolitan and traffic services, as resources had to be diverted to help police keep public order, closing roads and diverting traffic.

"Apart from the fact that other enforcement priorities were compromised, there was also the cost of infrastructure damage and resources such as buildings and vehicles, as well as a financial impact due to overtime costs," Smith said.

Instability in the public transport sector was also a challenge for the city.

"There were numerous taxi-related strikes and a wage-related strike by bus companies." The continued service delays and arson attacks on the Metrorail infrastructure are well documented.

"These disruptions demanded the affected commuters, but also put additional pressure on the road network and enforcement staff whose job is to control police violations," Smith said.

He said that gang violence remained a permanent problem, but that the police service of the metro made 19% more arrests and the number of recovered firearms with targeted operations increased by 39%.

"There are at least 16 Gangshott spotters in Cape Town who regularly experience a flare-up of violence, and the Metropolitan and Drugs Team, in cooperation with the stabilizing law enforcement unit, work to maximize resources in these communities, but resources are limited. the police, "he said.

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Cape Argus

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