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The deployment of the proof-of-concept Neighbourhood Safety Team on the streets of Delft this festive season means an extra 86 dedicated law enforcement personnel for the area. Read more below:

The City of Cape Town’s first Neighbourhood Safety Team (NST) has been deployed in Delft today, 11 December 2017.

The City has identified the 10 policing precincts with the highest crime rates to roll out the NST initiative and it is envisioned that between 90 and 120 personnel will be deployed in each precinct over this term of office. The aim is to expand the existing enforcement interventions while also enhancing the City’s social investments through social development projects. Delft is the first of these 10 police precincts where this initiative will be deployed and will serve as the proof of concept test case before the initiative is expanded.

Over the years, the City has explored various interventions to address crime in the most vulnerable communities. These include the Stabilisation Unit, School Resource Officers, Neighbourhood Safety Officers, Gang and Drug Task Team and a violence interruption intervention.

The NST initiative combines all of these into an integrated intervention that will be sustained for at least three years. This is in line with the City’s goal of creating safe communities as part of the Organisational Development and Transformation Plan. It will be supported by various social development programmes such as the Women for Change and Strengthening Families programmes; an integrated task team in each police sector called a Focus Table; as well as social workers being deployed by the Western Cape Department of Social Development.‘The fight against crime doesn’t rest with enforcement alone. In fact, many crimes are but by-products of deeper social issues that cannot and should not be solved through enforcement only. We have pulled in other crucial services and programmes to be part of this initiative and it will be interesting to see the impact that this has on crime levels. Furthermore, the NST will be a constant presence in the area of deployment, which means that the team members will over time develop a good understanding of the dynamics in the area that will in turn aid and inform their approach,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security; and Social Services, Alderman JP Smith.

The NSTs will be deployed on a shift basis in Delft, with special focus areas including public transport interchanges, shopping areas and hotspots within the area identified through crime pattern analyses. They will be supported by specialised units from the Metro Police, Traffic and Law Enforcement Departments.

‘While this is a City initiative, we are working very closely with a range of partners including the South African Police Service, Western Cape Government and the local community policing forum who have all pledged their support. It’s important that we have a shared vision and a common goal and I am hopeful that the future crime statistics for Delft and any other area where the NSTs are deployed will reflect the downward trend that we expect,’ added Alderman Smith.

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