Portfolio Chair for Police, Francois Beukman, is perturbed by the glaring failure of the South African Police to curb the country’s murder rate.
Murder in South Africa has gone up by 6.9 percent year-on-year, for the last financial year and the harsh reality is that this upward trajectory has been maintained since as far back as the 2012/13 financial year.
“The increase points to the ineffectiveness of interventions implemented by the South African Police Service (Saps),” said Beukman on Tuesday.
“Significantly more targeted interventions must be implemented to reverse this worrying trend,” added Beukman.
The Police Chair said South African cops were not proactive enough during their crime fighting efforts, an element which has also been exposed by the series of organised attacks against police stations around the country.
The criminals are dictating to South African law enforcement what the game is and how it should be played. Police Minister Bheki Cele has been tasked with shifting that dynamic dramatically.
“As a remedy, the committee has recommended that Saps management strengthen cluster and station management, especially in the top 30 crime hotspots,” said Beukman.
“Strengthening cluster and station management will improve the strategic and tactical intervention in fighting crime, especially contact crime,” added Beukman.
The absence of certain specialised units within the ranks of the South African Police is also a glaring failure and something which Beukman wants addressed as a matter of urgency.
“The committee has for a while now called for the re-introduction of specialised units, as it is of the view that they are vital in focusing the crime prevention plan. It is high time that the Saps management urgently implement the National Development Plan recommendation on the National Police Board, as well as re-introduce specialised units trained to deal with specific crime,” added Beukman.
“The committee is of the view that the need for specialised units to deal with gang and taxi-related crimes is long overdue. Safety and security is one of the important pillars of an economically growing country that is able to create job opportunities for the people of the country,” explained Beukman.
Crime, like anything else, changes and evolves with time. The South African Police are being called upon to change with those times and be better prepared to take on the challenges presented in a modern world.
“The committee has encouraged the review and renewal of the Saps Act and Fire-Arms Control Act to bring them in line with new crime developments and ensure a policing framework that is able to deal with changing crime trends.
“Also, the National Development Plan made recommendations on a framework for a community-based plan to fight crime. Crime is a societal problem and the police must develop and urgently implement a new model for police community interface that will galvanise the entire society to the fight against crime,” said Beukman.
The committee reiterated its call that policing should move towards intelligence-led policing as a key approach to deal with serious and violent crime.
Also, the use of technology as an operational tool and force multiplier must be urgently considered, budgeted for and implemented.