The Portfolio Committee on Police has urged the Civilian Secretariat for Police Service together with the Senior Management of the South African Police Service (SAPS) to enhance collaborations aimed at finding workable solutions to the rampant crime levels in South Africa. The committee today concluded a session to thoroughly interrogate the third quarter crime statistics released last week.
The committee remains concerned by the upward trend in contact crimes and has urged for a paradigm shift if the country is to overcome this scourge. “We remain concerned that murder has gone up by 10.0%, sexual offences increased by 9.6%, attempted murder by 24.3%. All these indications point to a need to change gear and find workable solutions,” said Ms Tina Joemat-Pettersson, the Chairperson of the committee.
The committee welcomes announcement made by the President during the State of the Nation Address of a more focused approach to policing anchored on increasing police officers on the ground. The committee welcomes the assurance that about 10 000 police officers will be recruited and trained for the coming financial year. Also, the capacitation of the detectives services by 1094 officers is a welcomed intervention which will improve the likelihood to resolve acts of crime.
Furthermore, the committee has highlighted since its inception that a functioning Crime Intelligence Division is central to fighting crime. In line with this, the committee welcomes the information that 204 officers at different levels of the Division: Crime Intelligence have been employed in the 2022/2023 financial year with a 120 requested for the coming financial year. The committee remains of the view that Crime intelligence is critical if the SAPS is to overcome the current surge in crime.
Meanwhile, the committee has noted growing concerns around the escalating cross border related crimes and has urged for collaboration with neighbouring countries for partnership anchored interventions. To this end, the committee welcomed the information that the Minister of SAPS and the Senior Management of SAPS are already engaged with their counterparts in neighbouring countries to stop the tide of crime across the border.
In line with its drive to find solutions and collaborations, the committee received a briefing from the Institute for Security Studies on Evidence-based policing and has urged increasing interaction between the ISS and SAPS for exchange of information and expertise needed to fight crime.
“We need all the expertise we can get in streamlining our efforts to ensure safety and security in the country. A safe South Africa will unlock economic potential of the country, a critical requirement to fight unemployment, inequality and poverty,” Ms Joemat-Pattersson emphasised.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Republic of South Africa: The Parliament.