Staggering decline in murders during lockdown – Albert Fritz

WCape minister says in 15th week of 2020 killings down 59.1% year-on-year

MEC Albert Fritz on newly deployed law enforcement officers to enforce Coronavirus COVID-19 lockdown

20 April 2020

The Minister of Community Safety, Albert Fritz, commends the 500 newly deployed law enforcement officers, appointed through the Western Cape Safety Plan, who are supporting the enforcement of the lockdown. The law enforcement officers are working with SAPS and SANDF as part of a joint effort.

Between 6 and 12 April, the Law Enforcement Advancement Plan (LEAP) law enforcement officers:

Arrested 13 individuals in possession of/dealing narcotics and in possession of liquor or in contravention of the Disaster Management Act;

Issued 126 Section 341 notices (fines);

Issued 625 Section 56 written notices to appear in court in terms of the by-law Disaster Management Regulations and Traffic By-Laws;

Searched 118 houses;

Searched 719 vehicles;

Searched 1772 suspects;

Attended to 291 COVID-19 related complaints;

Facilitated 7 roadblocks; and

Participated in 17 joint operations.

Minister Fritz said, “I wish to commend the 500 newly deployed law enforcement officers who are supporting the joint command of SAPS and SANDF. These officers have been deployed in 8 clusters including Khayelitsha, Lentegeur, Nyanga (including Bishop Lavis), and Delft (including Blue Downs).”

LEAP law enforcement officers are supporting the lockdown by:

Supporting the COVID-19 response team by operating in conjunction with SAPS and the Anti-Gang Unit to perform COVID-19 related operations and crime prevention operations within the various clusters;

Being deployed within the 8 clusters attending to COVID-19 complaints dispatched by the 107 Control Centre; and

Assisting in the 8 clusters with a response team attached to the COVID-19, particularly in response to gatherings, events and taverns operating in the respective areas.

“Over the course of the lockdown period, we have seen a staggering decline in certain categories of crime, particularly, suspected murders. In the 15th week of 2020, there were 27 suspected murders, which is 59.1% lower than the total of 66 suspected murders in 2019. In the 14th week, there 31 suspected murders. Whilst this remains 31 deaths too many, this figure is considerably lower than the same period last year in which there were 105 suspected murders. In total, that marks a 70.5% decrease in suspected murders,” said Minister Fritz.

“Our LEAP Law Enforcement officers are gaining invaluable experience through their work in the COVID-19 response. This will only serve to benefit the communities that they will be deployed to once we overcome COVID-19 and shift back to our primary goal of reducing the murder rate in the Western Cape,” Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security at the City of Cape Town, Alderman JP Smith.

For further clarity on the conditions of lockdown, please see the following FAQs

Issued by Cayla Ann Tomás Murray, Spokesperson for Minister Albert Fritz, 21 April 2020