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Committee Commends Decline in Certain Crimes in South Africa, Calls for Heightened Police Efforts in Crime Prevention

The Portfolio Committee on Police has welcomed the second quarter crime statistics showing a reduction in various crimes, including murder, sexual offences and carjacking.

The committee on Friday received a presentation on crime statistics for the last quarter (July to September) from the Ministry of Police and Senior Management of the South African Police Service. Compared to the same period in the last financial year, the statistics, among others, show that there has been a 0.8% drop in murders and reductions of 1.5% in sexual offences, 2.3% in carjacking, and 7.3% in robberies at non-residential premises.

The committee notes that while in some cases the reduction is minimal, continued efforts will lead to sustained reduction. The committee also called on the police to continue efforts aimed at rooting out perpetrators of these crimes.

Despite these decreases, the committee raised concern over the sharp increase in attempted murder, showing an increase of 12.3% and assault with the intent to inflict grievous bodily harm that has recorded an increase of 1 046 cases in the quarter under review.

The committee further highlighted concerns over the increase in cash-in-transit robberies, which has recorded eight more incidents compared to the same period in the last financial year. The committee has called for collaboration with cash-in-transit companies to devise strategies to curb these incidents. Although the committee appreciated SAPS’ efforts in dealing with this, it emphasised the need for enhanced intelligence-led policing to deal with this crime.

Meanwhile, the committee remains concerned by rape incidents reported in educational institutions and has called for collaboration between SAPS and the management of these institutions to protect women and children. The committee has also called for enhanced partnerships with taxi associations and e-hailing services companies to address the emerging trend of rape while using these services.

The committee has resolved that it will be important to engage with provincial SAPS Commissioners and station level commanders to assess strategies being implemented to address crime. This, according to the committee, will enable members to have a granular understanding of challenges and areas of best practice.

The committee reiterated its call for community-wide collaboration in the fight against crime. “The trust deficit between the community and SAPS must be urgently addressed to ensure that communities act as the eyes and ears of the SAPS and criminality can be reported speedily,” said Mr Nocks Seabi, the committee Chairperson.

Notwithstanding the need for community collaboration, the committee has condemned those resorting to mob justice as it creates more problems and expressed concern over the 428 murders, 63 attempted murders and 369 assaults with the intent to cause grievous bodily harm relating to mob justice that have been recorded.

The murder of police officers also remains a concern for the committee. The statistics show that 35 police officers were killed in the quarter under review and the committee has called for improved strategies to bring an end to this.

The committee will schedule a session where it intends to engage further on these crime statistics and broaden engagement to include provincial and station-level management of hotspot areas.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Republic of South Africa: The Parliament.

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