Ricochet News

No plan for anti-gang and -drug unit for Nelson Mandela Bay

JUNE 13, 2016
No plan for anti-gang and -drug unit for Nelson Mandela Bay

There is no future plan to have an anti-gang and anti-drug unit in the newly-established Nelson Mandela Bay Metro police, says the Democratic Alliance (DA) in the Eastern Cape.

"According to an answer to a question for oral reply I asked last week in the legislature Reply to oral question 31 NBM anti gang unit to Safety and Liaison MEC Weziwe Tikana, there are no plans to establish an anti-gang and drug unit as part of the Metro Police in the municipality," describedBobby Stevenson, DA Eastern Cape's Shadow MEC for Safety and Security.

"This approach is short-sighted and not fair to Nelson Mandela Bay.  You can’t fight gangsterism with one hand tied behind your back."

He said that the DA believes that a critical component to fighting gangsterism in the Northern Areas is having an anti-gang unit and drug unit.

"These units have made huge headway in the City of Cape Town in combatting gangsterism and drugs.  In Cape Town, over 5 600 gang-related arrests are made in a year.  These results are achieved by about 100 officers attached to the anti-gang unit.  Three years ago, gang violence contributed to 20% of all murders in Cape Town and it’s now almost halved, to 11 %," Stevenson described.

"The DA-approach in the City of Cape Town is based on intelligence-led policing.  Specialised units are specifically trained to deal with the tactical issues around gangsterism.

"We also want to see a Metro Police Service equipped with the right technology such as “shot spotter” that can triangulate to within two metres from where a shot was fired.  This type of technology along with the extensive use of cameras and number plate recognition cameras is being used in the City of Cape Town."

He said that the citizens of the Metro deserve to live in communities without fear and where children can play safely in the streets without having to dodge bullets.