18 April 2018
The DA in the Western Cape is pleased to learn that 1342 illegal firearms were seized in the Province during the 2017/18 financial year. This was confirmed today by the SAPS during a meeting with the Standing Committee on Community Safety at the Western Cape Provincial Parliament. It was further revealed that during the 2016/17 financial year, 2375 arrests have been made for the possession of illegal firearms and ammunition, with 694 successful convictions.
We were further informed that during the 2017/18 financial year, 65 firearms, belonging to SAPS officials, were either lost, stolen or taken from officers, by criminals. Thirty-eight (38) SAPS firearms have been recovered in this same time frame. We simply cannot tolerate firearms of the very people who are meant to protect us coming into the hands of criminals and being used against communities.
It is reassuring that a SAPS investigative unit is in the process of being fully established to help curb the availability of illegal firearms in the Province. It is imperative that not only illegal firearms are removed off the street, but so too, the individual who used it for criminal activity – a specialised response will assist in detecting these crimes.Firearms in general are used in the commission of serious and violent crimes. During the 2016/2017 financial year, 1 204 murders were committed with firearms in the Western Cape, 2646 attempted murders committed with firearms and aggravated robberies with firearms amounted to 10 885.
As the DA in the Western Cape, we urge all anyone with information about the illegal use or possession of illegal or stolen firearms to anonymously report these to Crime Stop at 08600 10111.