Po­lice need more re­sources

Diamond Fields Advertiser - - NEWS - PATSY BEANGSTROM NEWS EDITOR

THE DA has ap­pealed to the North­ern Cape Pro­vin­cial Po­lice Com­mis­sioner, Lieu­tenant-Gen­eral Risi­mati Shivuri, to en­sure that more and bet­ter re­sources are al­lo­cated to po­lice sta­tions to en­sure the safety of the peo­ple of the Prov­ince.

DA pro­vin­cial leader, An­drew Louw, said yes­ter­day that the an­nual crime statis­tics con­firmed that lo­cals were unsafe in their homes, their cars and their places of work.

“The con­stant up­ward trend in the num­ber of rob­beries and car­jack­ings in the North­ern Cape is very un­set­tling. Few peo­ple can af­ford to put up devil’s fork fenc­ing, elec­tric fences and in­stall alarm sys­tems. In­stead, they are sit­ting ducks for crim­i­nals.”

Louw added that a re­ply to a par­lia­men­tary ques­tion by the Min­is­ter of Po­lice re­cently re­vealed that whilst the gov­ern­ment spends R9.1 mil­lion on VIP ser­vices to safe­guard a sin­gle politi­cian, the gov­ern­ment spends only R1 500 to pro­tect the cit­i­zens of South Africa. “Safety has been re­served for politi­cians.”

Louw went fur­ther to say that safety was meant to be a ba­sic right, not a lux­ury.

“Yet the SAPS has, in many in­stances, be­come a mere spec­ta­tor to crime. It records in­ci­dents of crim­i­nal­ity but can­not pre­vent crime through vis­i­ble polic­ing or ad­e­quately ad­dress crime by way of en­sur­ing that per­pe­tra­tors are ar­rested and suc­cess­fully tried in courts of law.”

Call-outs

He added that a re­cent inspection of the po­lice sta­tion in Ritchie re­vealed how a dire lack of po­lice ve­hi­cles pre­vented the po­lice from at­tend­ing to emer­gency call-outs and fol­low­ing up on cases. “This is the sit­u­a­tion ev­ery­where,” Louw stated.

“Mount­ing lev­els of crime in the North­ern Cape, from rob­bery with ag­gra­vat­ing cir­cum­stances to sex­ual as­sault, drug-re­lated crime and stock-theft, are the ef­fect of chronic un­der-train­ing, un­der-staffing, un­der-re­sourc­ing and un­der-equip­ping of the po­lice.

“A well co-or­di­nated and ur­gent ef­fort by the SAPS is ur­gently re­quired if the po­lice are ever to take back their hold on crime. We need more po­lice of­fi­cers, bet­ter train­ing and ad­di­tional ve­hi­cles in the North­ern Cape. With­out these ba­sic crime-fight­ing tools, crime will con­tinue to de­stroy the free­doms which South Africans de­serve.”

He stated that or­di­nary cit­i­zens, not just high-rank­ing politi­cians, should be able to go about their day-to-day lives with­out the con­stant fear of pend­ing crime.

The ANC Cau­cus na­tion­ally mean­while said the crime statis­tics painted a con­cern­ing pic­ture of a con­tin­u­ous rise in contact crime in our coun­try.

“While we ap­pre­ci­ate the South African Po­lice Ser­vice’s con­tin­ued ef­forts to fight crime, the up­ward tra­jec­tory in the mur­der rate, which has in­creased by 6.9%, is a mat­ter of grave con­cern. The re­port re­flects firearms (41%) and knives (31%) as the key in­stru­ments used to com­mit mur­der. This de­mands firmer reg­u­la­tion in the ac­qui­si­tion of firearms and other harm­ful in­stru­ments. We must also in­ten­sify our fight against the pos­ses­sion of il­le­gal firearms in our coun­try,” ANC Chief Whip, Jack­son Mthembu, said.

He added that gen­der-based vi­o­lence con­tin­ued to be on a wor­ry­ing in­crease, with an in­crease na­tion­ally of 8.2% in cases of sex­ual as­sault and a 0.5% in­crease in rape cases.

“Our fight against crime re­quires action by all South Africans. The role of com­mu­ni­ties in crime-fight­ing can­not be overem­pha­sised be­cause stolen and hi­jacked goods are of­ten traded in our com­mu­ni­ties.”

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