Updated: Sep 21
A new pilot project aimed at addressing crime and lawlessness in the Philippi East area of Cape Town has been launched, with the appointment of a team of specially trained law enforcement officers. The announcement was made during the Philippi Business Retention and Expansion summit hosted by the Philippi Economic Development Initiative (PEDI) in April 2016.
The five officers, who have undergone training under the City of Cape Town Law enforcement’s Expanded Public Works Programme scheme, will form the first step towards creating a City Improvement District in the area. This move comes after a business confidence survey conducted by PEDI and the City of Cape Town’s Economic Development Department eighteen months ago identified crime and lawlessness as key concerns for businesses in the area.
In an effort to unlock the economic potential of the Philippi area and address the needs of businesses, PEDI has been engaging with a range of government line departments and stakeholders to create a more attractive investment destination. The Peace Officer programme, which was funded by the City as a pilot "CID Light" project, was hailed as an opportunity to address the social and economic impact of crime and grime.
The team will work from two vehicles, with one officer always manning a base station at the PEDI offices, receiving complaints and tip-offs from the public and directing patrolling officers to where they are needed. Through a system of radio networking, the officers will have access to the backup resources of the full gamut of Metro policing services.
Robbie Roberts, the City of Cape Town Director of Law Enforcement, introduced the team at the Philippi Village event and revealed that his department was working on giving peace officer training to neighbourhood watch members in the Borcherd’s Quarry area. This move will enhance the safety of the district which is adjacent to Philippi and will become the gateway to Philippi from the N2 when a provincial project to realign the interchange is completed over the next three years.
PEDI expects that the completion of this project will be a catalyst for the expansion of the Philippi economy as it will open up access to markets from the area. The Department of Trade and Industry is also hoping to attract applications for its incentive scheme which was set up to promote the development of industrial clusters within defined areas.
The Peace Officer project has been deemed a success and has been placed under the management umbrella of City of Cape Town law enforcement. The peace officers remain dedicated to serving the Philippi area. The news of the pilot project and its progress has been welcomed by the business community and stakeholders in the area.
The launch of the Peace Officer programme is an important step towards creating a safer and more conducive environment for investment and economic development in the Philippi area. It is hoped that the success of the pilot project will lead to the scaling up of the operation to become a fully fledged Rent-a-Cop programme, with the backing of the business community.