Saps, state, community to fight crime against children

Children march from the local nursery, 4 August 2014, after three-year-old Luke Tibbetts was shot in Westbury, Johannesburg over the weekend. He was caught up in a gang-related shooting leaving him on life support. Picture: Valentina Nicol

Police, state departments, and communities need to work together to fight crime against children, Police Minister Nathi Nhleko said on Tuesday.

“An integrated, co-ordinated approach between all sectors of society is needed because crime against the vulnerable is extremely concerning,” Nhleko told journalists in Johannesburg.

Nhleko was addressing media together with Gauteng community safety MEC Sizakele Nkosi-Malobane and Gauteng police commissioner Lt-Gen Lesetja Mothiba.

Nhleko said crime against children was often a by-product of other circumstances, such as social and economic problems.

“It is for this reason that police need co-operation from state departments such as the department of social development,” he said.

Police also needed the involvement of the community, such as community policing forums (CPF), to protect children from crime.

“The community needs to work with police in a structured, integrated way,” said Nhleko.

These approaches were particularly important as crime against children had been on the rise in recent months.

Three-year-old Cuburne Lavone van Wyk was kidnapped and murdered in Reiger Park, east of Johannesburg.

His body was discovered at a mine dump in the area on August 9.

A man appeared in court on Friday in connection with his death and possible kidnapping.

Taegrin Morris, 4, was also killed during a botched hijacking last month in Reiger Park.

No arrests had been made on the matter.

Three-year-old Luke Tibbetts also died when he was hit by stray bullets during a shooting in Westbury.

Two men have been arrested for their alleged involved in Tibbetts’ death.


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