‘Brazen’ CT gun violence moving into ‘leafy suburbs’ – expert

brazen ct gun violence moving into leafy suburbs

CAPE TOWN – A city under siege, Cape Town has been rocked by a spate of deadly gun attacks in recent weeks.

Over the past eight days, Eyewitness News reported on the murders of 13 people in four separate gun attacks.

At least eight other people, including two teenagers and a toddler, were wounded.

Vrygrond, Delft, Khayelitsha, Retreat, Elsies River and even Camps Bay.

While gun violence has long plagued the Mother City, these are just some of the Cape Town communities hit by deadly gun attacks recently.

Comparative policing and social conflict specialist, Eldred de Klerk: “The numbers probably tell us that much of the violence is probably the same, what is different though is where the violence is occurring and its the brazen nature of it. So it has left the dusty hills of the Cape Flats and it’s coming into the leafy suburbs, the busy intersections and the Atlantic seaboard.”

While authorities suspect the majority of the incidents could be linked to gang activity or taxi-related violence, De Klerk says we can’t be too sure of that.

“No, we do not know what is behind all these gun attacks and sometimes we’re labelling something too early without really taking the time to investigate. It actually hampers an investigation and it also misdirects our response.”

The security analyst said that none of this violence was random but opportunistic.

LOW CONVICTIONS FOR GANG-RELATED CRIME

As South Africa battles with gun violence it’s been revealed that convictions for gang-related crime are extremely low.

Western Cape Community Safety MEC Reagen Allen said that successful prosecutions in the province stood at only 2%.

There has been a spate of deadly shootings in communities across Cape Town and while investigations are at an early stage, police suspect a number of the incidents are linked to gang activity.

Community Safety MEC Reagen Allen says the only way detectives will be able to be effective in their investigations is if they are empowered and resourced.

“It’s ridiculous that detectives in this province sit with 250 dockets each on average. We keep on hearing that the capacitation of detectives is a priority and an ongoing process, it’s a song that has been sung for almost 30 years.”

Allen says change is urgently required and he’s again reiterated the Western Cape government’s calls for the devolution of the police.

The community of Vrygrond near Muizenberg was one of the areas rocked by violent attacks and saw the deployment of the police’s anti-gang unit to restore law and order last week.

Meanwhile, Western Cape police spokesperson, Novela Potelwa, said that efforts had been beefed-up to get firearms off the streets of Cape Town.

“During regular analysis of crime, it has become apparent that in the commission of serious and violent crimes such as murders, attempted murders and armed robberies, firearms are the weapon of choice, particularly illegal firearms. It is on this basis that the South African Police Service in the Western Cape are quite intentional about ridding local communities of illegal firearms and ammunition.”

Targeted operations have been launched to tackle last week’s spate of shootings.

Following the attacks, police have so far confiscated 35 firearms and a large quantity of various caliber ammunition.

Forty-five suspects were arrested and detained on charges of the possession of unlicensed firearms and ammunition.

Potelwa said that through targeted operations, their integrated forces, armed with intelligence, conduct search and seizure operations, vehicle checkpoints, raids and roadblocks at identified hotspots.

“While this mission will take some time to accomplish, the number of firearms and ammunition that is confiscated on a weakly basis is quite encouraging. A plea is hereby made to communities to alert police of places with unlicenced firearms to work towards creating safer communities.”

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