Today’s release of the national Crime Statistics for the First Quarter of this year (2021/22), from 1 April to 30 June 2021, is extremely worrying. The increase in violent, heinous contact crimes, together with the onslaught of crime on private property, vehicles, businesses, and individuals, is proof that our police service is unable to keep South Africans safe.
Contact crimes, such as murder, attempted murder, sexual offences, and all categories of assault, registered a 60.6% increase. These shocking numbers reflect a SAPS management in complete disarray, with police officers executing orders that have no real impact on the daily lives of our people.
For 5701 people to be killed within a three-month period cannot be considered normal, in any society. To compound matters, an additional 4701 rape cases in our country clearly show that we need desperate and urgent intervention – both societal changes (social development), as well as new strategies for SAPS and all law enforcement agencies.
Based on these first quarter statistics, SAPS and the entire security cluster cannot proceed with the current strategy to fight and prevent crime. The time for business as usual is over. The tough talk and policing rhetoric must take a backseat so that we can restore the lost trust and faith in our security and policing agencies.
The IFP believes that SAPS and all other law enforcement agencies must tackle crime through sophisticated, coordinated, and specific targeting measures that will combat and prevent crime.
We disagree with Police Minister, Bheki Cele’s stance that the lockdown regulations have had a significant impact on our police and crime trends. Crime Statistics have for many years, before Covid-19, shown a substantial rise in key priority crimes and the government’s response has lacked focus, strategy and implementation.
How can rapists freely roam our streets, while our women, girls and vulnerable groups fear leaving their homes. Indeed, our fight against gender-based violence is far from over.
We understand that fighting crime is a collective effort, and community neighbourhood watches and Community Policing Fora play an integral role in fighting crime. However, arrests must be followed by prosecution and the backlog in our justice system must be swiftly addressed.
The IFP will therefore be calling for a debate of national public importance in the National Assembly, so that all parties can contribute and offer practical suggestions to the crisis facing the SAPS.
In addition, the IFP salutes all frontline police and law enforcement officers for their selfless service to our nation and we join the country in mourning the sad and tragic loss of 821 police officers who have succumbed to Covid-19.
Zandile Majozi, MP
IFP Spokesperson on Police
073 052 9556