Residents of Mitchells Plain in Cape Town have appealed to police for, among others, a specialised unit dealing with missing persons.

Latest crime statistics show that the Mitchells Plain Police Station is among the top 30 stations in the province for various violent crimes.

Police top brass, led by Police Minister, Bheki Cele, engaged with community members during a ministerial imbizo at Rocklands in Mitchells Plain, on crime issues plaguing the community.

Gang-and-drug-related crimes have been identified as being of particular concern in the area.

“We really need you guys to come out and help us search, look when there is a child missing, I also want to ask you minister to open your own missing person unit because there is a big need especially when it comes to Mitchell’s Plain,” says one resident. 

“Gender-based violence is evil. That’s what it’s called and when it was mentioned and said that men are the cause of it, I can put my hand on my own chest as a man, I’m disappointed that we have something like that. Fancy words, but its evil! That’s what we are calling it,” says another resident. 

“What are we supposed to do when it comes to Police Officers that are hitting our people? Nobody is above the law. So, my plea today is to the minister please work on that,” says another concerned residents. 

Chairperson of the Mitchells Plain Community Policing Forum, Norman Jantjies has called for more police resources to be deployed to the area.

“We need more vehicles. We need a gang unit because gangsterism is our biggest problem in Mitchell’s Plain. We also need a special focus on drugs, because many of our murders are related to the supply of drugs. It’s not just SAPS. It’s also the other government departments that have a responsibility,” says Jantjies.

Police Minister, Bheki Cele says it’s untrue that the province is being starved of resources, citing a number of interventions made in the fight against crime.

“We have created a special team here for extortion. It was the first province where we created anti-gang unit at a very high expense (sic). This province is one with the taxi task team – this is a team that in a minimal way we are looking very closely on the question of kidnapping. So, we really work and we are completely blind to the question of geography. All our eyes are open on the question of making the people of South Africa, including the Western Cape, in particular Cape Flats safe.”

Cele says the issue of crime should not be politicised. He has again referred to provincial law enforcement as a “parallel structure” which does not necessarily work with SAPS. The imbizo follows a march by the DA in Mitchells Plain last week against what the party calls Cele’s plans to hijack law enforcement. It’s opposed to a single police service and wants policing powers devolved to provinces.

VIDEO: Crime Imbizo – Mitchells Plain community concerned about gun crimes, increase in drug trafficking