On 21 September 2016, the South African Police Service (SAPS) briefed the Portfolio Committee on Police on its integrated approach in dealing with gangsterism. Cabinet tasked the National Intelligence Coordinating Committee (NICOC) in 2014 to prepare a threat analysis looking at gangsterism as a national threat. At the same time the Civilian Secretariat for Police (CSP) was tasked by the Minister of Police to develop an interdepartmental strategy.
Western Cape Province’s ‘Operation Combat’ is driven by SAPS and involves local, provincial and national departments. The main focus of the strategy is strategic visible policing, criminal investigations on gangs, focused gathering and analysis of intelligence and mobilising communities against gangsterism.
Outcomes of the strategy for the first six months of its implementation show the following:
Of the 1 053 gang-related crimes identified through 'Operation Combat', 48% were detected as a result of police action and 45% were drug-related crimes
Police seized 26 830g Cannabis (Dagga), 2 951g Crystal Meth (Tik) and 29 firearms
Searches during March - August 2015 of 'Operation Combat' showed police did 20 459 on-person searches and searched 1 022 premises for illegal drugs
696 arrests were made
Although a similar strategy was rolled out in the Eastern Cape, the committee questioned why other provinces were not included and why there seems to be resistance within SAPS on the establishment of a fully fledged specialised police unit on gangsterism instead of opting for temporary task teams.
See infographic below for more on policing of gangsterism:
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