Army not trained to deal with gangsterism, says criminology expert

It's been another weekend of fatal shootings in Cape Town's crime-ridden suburb of Bonteheuwel.

Three men were gunned down in separate incidents bringing to 43 the total number of people murdered in the area since the start of this year.

From Tuesday, 100 members of the city's neighbourhood safety team will begin active patrols in the suburb, but some say the only way to protect local residents is to send in the army.

It's not a position UCT Centre Of Criminology researcher Simon Howell agrees with.

Gangsterism is a social issue, not a criminal issue.

Simon Howell, Researcher - UCT Centre Of Criminology

Howell says there is a risk of escalating the violence if the South African National Defence Force is bought in.

They did this in the favelas in Brazil and numerous people died.

Simon Howell, Researcher - UCT Centre Of Criminology

On Monday Western Cape Premier Alan Winde issued a number of Tweets calling for the deployment of the army in areas like Bonteheuwel.

On Friday, Police Minister Bheki Cele claimed the crime situation in the Western Cape was not bad enough to warrant the deployment of the army.

Howell says deploying the army isn't dealing with the problem at its source.

We need to deal with the reasons kids join gangs rather than try and get rid of them (the gangs) when they've already joined the gangs.

Simon Howell, Researcher - UCT Centre Of Criminology

Listen to the full interview below:


This article first appeared on CapeTalk : Army not trained to deal with gangsterism, says criminology expert


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