Crime expert: Govt needs to relook at SAPS strategies dealing with gang violence

Over the weekend, six people were killed in Mfuleni and last week, five people, including a four-year-old child, were wounded in Hanover Park.

A group of young men, one with a tattoo 'RIP' (Rest in Peace), pose for photos during a police crime-prevention operation in Mitchells Plain in Cape Town on 5 March 2021 during a joint operation between SAPS and provincial Law Enforcement officers. Picture: Rodger Bosch/AFP

CAPE TOWN - There have been more calls this week for an integrated and holistic approach to dealing with gang violence following a particularly bad few days in gang-plagued Cape Flats communities.

Over the weekend, six people were killed in Mfuleni and last week, five people, including a four-year-old child, were wounded in Hanover Park.

The little girl lost an eye in the shooting and was still in hospital.

READ: Hanover Park policing forum calls for decisive action against gang violence

Criminology expert Dr. Simon Howell noted the recent flare-up of gang violence yet again in Cape Town.

He pointed out the police and government's failure to deal effectively with gang violence.

Howell said that over the past month, a 27s gang leader was murdered, along with other individuals, which spurred on the situation.

And while there was a gang strategy, he said that it should be locally driven.

Howell said that the policing strategies were only one part of a larger response.

He said that the government had tried using the police and the army countless times.

"We need to do more than policing, it's a social problem that has turned into a criminal problem."

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