Substance abuse 'main driver' for Cape violence

A report released by the Urban Safety Reference Group on Wednesday portrays the Mother City as a murder hot spot.

The City of Cape Town's JP Smith says municipal law enforcement bodies efforts to tackle the drug trade are being constantly boosted. Picture: Stock.XCHNG

CAPE TOWN - With the police’s top brass grappling with how best to deal with gangsterism, alcohol and drug abuse have been highlighted as the main drivers behind Cape Town's high violent crime rate.

A report released by the Urban Safety Reference Group on Wednesday portrays the Mother City as a murder hot spot.

The City of Cape Town's JP Smith says municipal law enforcement bodies efforts to tackle the drug trade are being constantly boosted.

“I think there is a new debate opening up about the appropriate way to respond to the drug crisis and whether enforcement is an effective plank in that platform.”

Provincial Community Safety MEC Dan Plato adds there are targeted plans in place to address social ills such as substance abuse.

“That is why the Western Cape Government has addressed this issue in what we call the ‘alcohol harm reduction game changer’, to educate our communities about the dangers of alcohol. We will continue with this drive as far as we can and understand it’s not for the police to do alone.”

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)