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Zille wants permanent police base camps in gang-stricken areas

Base camps are movable sites established under Operation Thunder, focused on addressing gang violence.

FILE: Cape Town police officers search suspects in Manenberg after gang warfare flares up on the Cape flats. Picture: Shamiela Fisher/EWN

CAPE TOWN - Premier Helen Zille wants police base camps in gang-stricken areas to be made permanent.

Base camps are movable sites established under Operation Thunder, focused on addressing gang violence.

Zille and Community Safety MEC Dan Plato visited a base camp in Lavender Hill on Thursday.

The other three are in Uitsig, Philippi East and Tafelsig.

Since the launch of Operation Thunder and four police base camps in May, more than 1,000 suspects have been arrested in Muizenberg and Steenberg.

Now, Premier Zille says police resources should also not be sacrificed in one community to benefit another.

She also says they need the support of the defence force.

“I will keep calling for the army to come in because what we have is a pacifying force to enable the police to get on with their job which is investigating crime and collecting the evidence.”

Zille adds in Lavender Hill, under the Steenberg police station precinct, the police-to-population-ratio is 1 to 533.

The national average is one officer for every 369 residents.

Operation Thunder involves the deployment of 257 public order policing personnel from across the country to nine Western Cape crime hotspots.