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WC POP unit resourcing issues raised at meeting between Fritz, top cop Sitole

It has been a busy few weeks for law enforcement agencies responding to various protests that have often turned violent.

FILE: In this file photo, law enforcement officers are pictured on scene where Kraaifontein residents barricaded roads after their homes were demolished on 26 July 2020. Picture: Supplied.

CAPE TOWN - Western Cape Community Safety MEC Albert Fritz has met with National Police Commissioner Khehla Sitole to address violent protests in the province.

Over the past few weeks, there's been a spate of violent demonstrations and land invasions across Cape Town.

On Wednesday, the MECs for Human Settlements and Transport, along with Premier Alan Winde, met with provincial Police Commissioner Yolisa Matakata and SAPS management.

It has been a busy few weeks for law enforcement agencies responding to various protests that have often turned violent.

Community Safety MEC Albert Fritz said that some of the important concerns raised were the resourcing of public order police (POP) units and deployment.

"... capacitating resources for our POP units in the Western Cape. We only have four POP units, other provinces have up to seven and we have seen the number of incidents of unrest and land invasions [increase]."

He said that they wanted to know the role of the defence force in supporting police in matters of public unrest and also whether the response was intelligence-driven.

"...we're intelligence-driven so that police can start to arrest the leaders who incite people to illegally occupy land or conducting illegal protests."

Fritz noted provincial Police Commissioner Yolisa Matakata's efforts to stabilise crime and said that he looked forward to working closely to address the violent unrest.

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