South Africa 30.9.2015 11:00 am

‘No strategy for violent crime’

Minister of Police Nkosinathi Nhleko. File Picture: Christine Vermooten

Minister of Police Nkosinathi Nhleko. File Picture: Christine Vermooten

South Africa does not have a clear strategy to deal with the increasing number of violent crimes, including murder and armed robbery, the Institute of Security Studies said yesterday.

Reacting to the crime statistics released by Police Minister Nathi Nhleko in parliament yesterday,the Institute for Security Studies’ Gareth Newham said: “Armed robberies are a key indicator of
police effectiveness because they are typically committed by a relatively small number of repeatoffenders who are usually organised.”
He added: “That robbery has increased raises questions about the extent to which police resources are being effectively used.”
South Africa has seen a third successive year of increases in the most serious categories of violent
and organised crime, yet there aren’t any clear strategies to reverse this dangerous trend, said
Nhleko downplayed the increase in crime in his presentation to parliament saying it could not be denied there had been a decrease in crime over the past couple of years. National police
commissioner General Riah Phiyega also said the fact murder cases increased this year by 4.6%,
compared to 5% increase last year, showed a decrease in murder.
Frans Cronje of the Institute of Race Relations said: “When some one says the crime rate is going
down – when the murder rate is going up – it shows the distance increasing between politicians
and the daily experience of South Africans.
“When you’re increasing off a base of 30 murders per 100 000 people, which is internationally way out there already, then to start saying things are not so bad or are improving, it’s actually offensive.”
“If the political principals in charge of crime are going to deny the facts of the matter, then what hope is there they can turn the situation around?”
The next police boss should be chosen in line with the recommendations of the National Development Plan (NDP), said Newham. The NDP’s Holy Grail is to “eliminate poverty and reduce inequality by 2030”.
One of the critical actions to achieve this, according to the NDP, is to reduce crime by strengthening criminal justice and improving community environments.


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