Policing in informal settlements in the spotlight again after attack on officers

Two hundred officers have been deployed to Philippi where six anti-gang unit members were shot and wounded on Wednesday morning.

Police Minister Bheki Cele at a justice, crime prevention and security cluster briefing on the elections on 13 May 2019. Picture: @SAPoliceService/Twitter

CAPE TOWN - Amid a crackdown in Samora Machel, Philippi, the police service has again highlighted how conditions in informal settlements hamper policing.

Two hundred officers have been deployed to Philippi where six anti-gang unit members were shot and wounded on Wednesday morning.

One of the two suspects was arrested in Paarl on Wednesday afternoon.

Also on Wednesday, Police Minister Bheki Cele and senior police officers visited two critically wounded members in hospital.

Cele said that there were no proper streets and lighting, as well as the fact that shacks were erected close to each other in communities like the Sweet Home Farm informal settlement in Samora Machel, presented challenges for policing.

“I can assure you; it will be forever difficult for police under these conditions,” he said.

He said government departments should collaborate to overcome these obstacles.

“That kind of thing gives criminals who are adapted to those conditions a better advantage.”