Safety and Security is a priority for the Stellenbosch Municipality, according to Mayor Gesie van Deventer. During the tabling of the 2021/22 budget, the mayor allocated funding to two new policies geared towards providing more visible policing on the ground. A third externally funded policy was also approved by Council.
These policies are the Auxiliary Law Enforcement Officers Policy, the Rewards for Criminal Information Policy and the Law Enforcement and Traffic Officer Policy.
The Auxiliary Law Enforcement Officers Policy will allow the municipality to invest in public safety, train members of the community and open career paths for residents who want to serve their communities. R400 000 has been allocated for the 2021/2022 financial year to train and equip up to 20 auxiliary officers. These officers will serve in a voluntary capacity and will not receive any compensation. They will however be fully trained and equipped to serve.
Provision has also been made in the budget for the Rewards for Criminal Information Policy. This policy establishes guidelines for the management of confidential information and for the compensation of persons who provide information leading to an arrest, confiscation and the recovery of stolen goods.
Starting on 1 July 2021, the municipality will also be implementing it’s externally-funded Law Enforcement and Traffic Officer Policy. This will enable private businesses to contribute financially to the recruitment of additional Law Enforcement and Traffic Officers. Private business and other interested organisations will be able to secure a predetermined level of law enforcement services within defined areas at a determined fee, allowing for an increase in visible policing across the region.
Through this policy, private entities will essentially be able to rent a law enforcement and/or traffic official to work in a specific area. The partner will bear the costs of equipment, uniforms, training and salaries by paying a pre-determined, fixed annual amount. The Directorate of Community and Protection Services will provide trained, equipped and capable law enforcement and traffic officials to serve these institutions.
Although policing is not a municipal function, the mayor says the municipality is committed to doing everything within its legal framework to create safer communities for residents.
Text: Editorial Desk