Police to intensify fight against violent crimes
THE police are set to intensify the fight against violent crimes in the country as Minister Fikile Mbalula says enough is enough. Delivering the crime stats, Mbalula said his office had taken a zero tolerance towards crime.
“Violent criminals will receive a proportional response to what they dish out. Today I am saying to criminal gangs, Nilibambe Lingashoni, I am coming for you hard, enough is enough,” he said.
Mbalula said the country had to ask itself serious questions such as if they have accepted living side by side with violent criminals.
“Is criminality a South African citizen itself? We must ask whether we have accepted to live side by side with violent criminals who literally emote terror across our nation, be it amavodo in the rural areas of Lusikisiki where this past Saturday we opened a new state of the art police station or the hard livings gangs across the Cape Flats. We must ask – have we accepted to live side by side with violent criminals in our big cities where car jackings and home invasions are a common phenomenon. We have no time. Crime is delivering terror and grave harm to our people and the economy. Our answer must be an emphatic and radical no. We must deal with crime in a radical and energetic way, our language must be clear and understood,” said Mbalula.
Despite indicating that there was a drop of 1.8% in crime, Mbalula lashed out at officers and accused them of failing the nation. He said police were letting South Africans down by failing to detect crimes.
He said in the past year, approximately 2.1 million serious crime counts were recorded, of which 1 738 980 were community reported serious crimes. The latter decreased by 1.8% compared to the 2015/2016 financial year. Mbalula said the decrease was driven mainly by reductions in all the broad crime categories, namely contact-related crime (3.3%), contact crime (2.4%), other serious crime (2.0%) and property-related crime (0.5%).
Contact crime decreased by 2.4% in 2016/2017. The decrease followed upon increases during the preceding two financial years. The decrease during 2016/2017 resulted in the figure for the 17 community reported crimes decreasing to a level lower than three years previously when the figures started to increase. Contact-related crime decreased by 3.3% in 2016/2017, following upon a decrease of 0.8% during the preceding financial year and an increase of 1.9% recorded during 2014/20015.
Property-related crime experienced a decrease of 0.5% in 2016/2017. This follows upon decreases of 1.8% and 0.8% respectively during the two preceding financial years. Other serious crimes decreased by 2.0% in 2016/2017, following upon decreases of 4.1% in 2015/2016 and 2.2% during 2014/2015.
Mbalula was not happy with the increase in crimes that are considered as indicators of the effectiveness of police activities, crimes detected as a result of police action. They increased from 0.3% in the preceding financial year to an increase of 9.6%.
“This increase is too small and is indicative of the lazy efforts by the police to detect such crime in order to make South Africa a safer place to live in. Police in this instance are letting our people down and I am here to stop it. Gauteng, Eastern Cape, KwaZulu Natal and Western Cape must have increased police action. When there is an increase in these sets of numbers – police action policing, it indicates more police work having taken place, we continue to do less here. We need to stop inertia and innovate,” said Mbalula.
He also bemoaned the increase in cash in transit heists in the country. He said companies responsible for guarding and transporting the money were not doing enough to combat the scourge.
“We have cash in transit crimes going up – on the other hand, the financial institutions are not investing properly in the high assets in transit. The armoured vans we see on our roads do not compare with serious armed vehicles we see in Europe in particular. SABRIX and banks must invest more in proper equipment and inform SAPS of high-value cargo well in time for planning. Internal hiring in these companies must accompany deeper security vetting and continual lie-detector tests and other methods,” he said.
Limpopo saw a 9,5 % decrease in the number of murder cases reported. The province now has the lowest rate in the entire country followed by Mpumalanga and North West.
Minister of Police Fikile Mbalula.