Law Enforcement and Security Department – City of Cape Town. If you have any queries please see the numbers listed at the bottom of this post.
What we do
We strive to ensure that City Council by-laws are upheld, ensuring a better quality of life for residents while working closely with various other government departments to clamp down on offences such as general nuisances, alcohol offences, illegal informal trading and illegal parking. Our trained Peace Officers have the power to confiscate arrest, issue compliance notices and fines, and shut down illegal operations where by-laws are infringed upon.
“Our vision is to achieve – with highly effective staff combined with integrated technology – a proactive and sustainable service, thus maintaining positive public perceptions.”
Chief: Law Enforcement
Informal Trading Unit
Informal trading contributes to around 12% of Cape Town’s GDP and is a major creator of employment. Informal trading is regulated by the Informal Trading By-law and Informal Trading Policy, which determines where trading is permitted, the categories of informal trading, and suitable operating conditions and obligations, and ensures that the rights of the various stakeholders within the public spaces where informal trading occurs are not infringed upon.
Metal Theft Unit (Copperheads)
Known as ‘Copperheads’, we are an elite task team of specially trained officers who combat the theft of non-ferrous metals – a crime which is rife in Cape Town.
Liquor Enforcement and Compliance Unit
Our City’s Liquor Enforcement and Compliance Unit polices premises that sell liquor to make sure that they comply with the necessary regulations and legislation, as laid out in the Liquor Act and Liquor By-law. This involves inspecting liquor premises for compliance, closing unlicensed liquor premises, and issuing fines for liquor offences.
Anti-Land Invasion Unit
The biggest unit in Law Enforcement, our team of specially trained officers is mandated by the City’s Human Settlements Directorate to stop people who attempt to illegally occupy City- and Provincial-owned land that has been identified for residents on the City’s housing waiting list.
Displaced People’s Unit
As the Displaced People’s Unit we work with the City’s Social Development and Early Childhood Development Directorate to address anti-social behaviour as and when it is seen in displaced people. Our members are trained to determine whether to treat any matter that arises as a by-law infraction or whether the individuals concerned should be referred to the relevant agency that can provide the appropriate solution to the problem that is presented.
Problem Buildings Unit
Our aim is to deal with criminality that is associated with certain ‘hotspot’ buildings. We also enforce the precepts in the Problem Building By-law, which has been laid out to address the health and safety risks posed by dilapidated buildings in the city.
Graffiti Enforcement Unit
Our unit is responsible for the application of the Graffiti By-law and the provisions of the City’s Arts and Culture Policy, ensuring that works of art in the public space meet the approval of the by-law and policy. The Graffiti Unit has a cleaning team dedicated to the removal of illegal graffiti in the City of Cape Town. This is supported by the Extended Public Works Programme job creation opportunity that hires unemployed persons to do illegal graffiti cleaning in the subcouncil or ward where they reside.
Animal Impoundment Unit
We handle complaints about animals and will impound any lost or stray animals that are reported to us. Strays are accommodated at our pound in Atlantis, where they are kept for 10 days until their owners claim them. Animals that are not claimed are sent to registered animal organisations.
We patrol the Cape Town coast by boat and jet ski to enforce the Sea Shore Regulations and the provisions of the Integrated Coastal Management Act. Our patrol area runs from Atlantis to Robben Island, the Sea Point/Camps Bay area toward Hout Bay, and the whole of False Bay. We cover poachers, whale/animal stranding, illegal fishing, and polluters.
Transport Enforcement Unit
Our units are dedicated to ensure a safe public transport service, focusing on vandalism and contact crime within public transport interchanges and on MyCiTi Buses, ensuring the Rules of Carriage are adhered to.
Public Transport Interchange Unit
Dedicated officers are deployed at major public transport interchanges focusing on public transport safety, crime and grime issues at Joe Gqabi, Bellville and the Cape Town Station Deck, and enforcing the Traffic and Parking By-law within the PTI’s and bus interchanges.
Rapid Response Unit
We patrol Cape Town on a 24/7 basis to eliminate gangsterism, prostitution and other by-law infractions.
You may want to
Report an emergency
Report illegal occupancy or land invasion
Report a problem building
021 900 1719
Law Enforcement: general enquiries
021 596 1999 for all units (24/7)
Cable theft (Copperheads)
0800 222 771
0800 225 669
0800 225 669 (24/7)
Informal Trading Unit
021 596 1999 (24/7)
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