Statement by Cape Town’s Executive Mayor, Patricia de Lille
The City of Cape Town actively encourages the creation of cooperative partnerships with the international community and stakeholders in order to boost knowledge sharing of best practice.
We believe in undertaking joint ventures in order to empower our staff and our communities. The ultimate objective of such partnerships is to improve the lives of Cape Town’s residents.
As part of our commitment to building a safe city, we have entered into international partnerships. These have allowed for training and models of best practice to be applied to improve our Safety and Security Directorate.
A partnership that we believe has been especially fruitful is one that we have fostered with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) of the United States Department of Justice. They have extended an invitation for eight members of the Safety and Security Directorate’s Gang and Drug Task Team to attend an advanced drug agent course from 26 to 30 January 2015 at the International Law Enforcement Academy in Gaborone, Botswana.
The eight members of the City’s Safety and Security Directorate will be representing South Africa. There will also be representatives from Ghana, Namibia, Uganda and Botswana. We would like to express our gratitude to the United States Government for bearing the cost of our delegates’ travel, meals, accommodation and local transport.
The training course will further develop the knowledge and skills required for a law enforcement officer to initiate and develop a counter-drug investigation and to analyse information. The course will also introduce more advanced topics such as clandestine laboratories, diversion investigations, managing undercover operations, and controlled deliveries.
Our Safety and Security Directorate has received extensive training support from the DEA over the last four years. Our relationship with the DEA started in 2009, when five officials attended drug enforcement training in Botswana. In the last three years, 63 training opportunities have been provided through the following seminars:
- Advanced Enforcement
- Basic and Advanced Drug Enforcement
- Undercover and Surveillance Practical Applications
- Chemical Diversion Investigation
In addition, in 2012 the DEA arranged for a chemical diversion specialist from Germany to assist the Safety and Security Directorate in Cape Town upon our request.
The United States Government has invested R10 million in our Metro Police Department through drug enforcement training, study tours to the United States, School Resource Officer training, and FBI management training.
We have already seen numerous improvements in operations from our Gang and Drug Task Team since they embarked on this training. During their most recent drug bust, the unit confiscated hashish, cocaine and two wine bottles filled with suspected liquid MDMA with a street value of more than R1 million. The suspects who were arrested are possibly linked to a European syndicate.
Another major drug bust took place less than two months ago, when Metro Police recovered tik to the value of R1,2 million in Maitland.
Our latest available statistics indicate that the Metro Police made 2 042 drug-related arrests and confiscated 43 020 units of narcotics during 2014.
These successes are the direct result of the intelligence-driven operations of the Gang and Drug Task Team, which can be attributed to the training that our officers have received from the DEA.
Through the effective use of resources and models of international best practice, the City has created an efficient and successful Metro Police service.
In the presence of Consul-General Teddy Taylor, we would like to thank the United States Government, and the DEA in particular, for their investment in our staff and, in turn, the lives of our residents.