Winde wants to take over policing powers in WC - and Action Society supports him
- There are growing calls for SAPS devolution in the Western Cape
- Premier Winde says crime hotspots, mostly in the Cape Flats, do not have adequate police resources
- Action Society's Ian Cameron argues that the devolution of the police service should be tested in the province
Premier Alan Winde says devolving policing functions in the Western Cape could boost crime-fighting efforts in the poorest communities, mostly in the Cape Flats.
The devolution of the South African Police Service (SAPS) could see policing powers decentralised from national government to provincial and municipal levels.
Winde argues that police resources are not sufficiently deployed in the province to match the needs of crime hotspots in vulnerable areas.
He says the worsening police to population ratio on the Cape Flats should be blamed on the national government's failure to properly equip SAPS stations to address policing needs and priorities.
The premier has slammed Police Minister Bheki Cele after he claimed that the Western Cape gets the most policing resources of all provinces during an imbizo in Mitchells Plain last week.
Winde claims Cele used taxpayers' money on "a political rant on the Cape Flats" instead of addressing under-resourcing issues.
We believe that we should be managing policing in the province, not from Tshwane or from a national point of view. We should be devolving the power.Alan Winde, Western Cape Premier
The police minister goes to those very Cape Flats, he shouldn't be doing that, he should be deploying police officers to those Cape Flats so that we reduce crime. We need to use science, we need to use statistics and we need to deploy accordingly, he does exactly the opposite.Alan Winde, Western Cape Premier
They centrally decide who goes to which police station. They divide up the manpower. I want that control. Give me the resources, I want the budget, the police stations and the manpower so we can actually change the ratio.Alan Winde, Western Cape Premier
Civil rights group Action Society has joined calls from the Western Cape to decentralise SAPS.
Action Society spokesperson Ian Cameron says the decentralisation of SAPS should be tested in the Western Cape where there is better provincial and local governance.
General law enforcement under provincial and local management in the province is far more successful, and for that reason, devolution could be a solution in the long term.Ian Cameron, Spokesperson - Action Society
I believe that devolution means that we could look at better financial management and therefore better resource management and allocation which could help us to see a turn in the tide of violent crime in the Western Cape and especially the gang-ridden areas that we are all worried about.Ian Cameron, Spokesperson - Action Society
In the Western Cape, there are about 5,000 vacancies in the South African Police Service. If you look at areas like Grassy Park, you've got about 1,800 people per police official. The UN average is meant to be about 300 to 1.Ian Cameron, Spokesperson - Action Society