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WC police-to-population ratio worsens

Mireille Wenger says over the past two years the Western Cape ratio has deteriorated from one police officer to every 385 people, to one police officer to every 509 people.

FILE: Picture: SAPS.

CAPE TOWN - The Western Cape’s police-to-population ratio has worsened over the last two years.

This has been revealed in a recent parliamentary reply to the Democratic Alliance’s Community Safety spokesperson Mireille Wenger.

She says it’s bad news for a province already experiencing severe personnel shortages and high levels of violence.

Wenger says over the past two years, the Western Cape ratio has deteriorated from one police officer to every 385 people, to one police officer to every 509 people.

In Cape Town, these numbers are even less promising. In 2016, there was one police officer for every 439 people.

In 2018, that number has risen to 560.

Wenger says she’s seriously concerned.

“This means in the Western Cape each officer is now serving an average of 124 more residents than in 2016. This is seriously concerning considering the Western Cape is suffering from on-going gang violence, violent protest and high rates of murder.”

Wenger has since written to the Public Service Commission to include police personnel shortages in its current investigation into police resourcing in the Western Cape.

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)