24 October 2017

South Africa: Popcru Statement On the Latest Crime Statistics

press release

It is noted that approximately 2, 1 million serious crimes were recorded, of which 1 738 980 were community-reported serious crimes. Further, the murder cases reported in this period were just below 20 000, with carjacking and cash in transit heists on an increase.

Our take is that despite the decreases that have been recorded against last year's statistics, not much difference is being effected as the percentages have only slightly changed.

We remain of the view that these statistical outcome should not only be approached in an abstract manner, but should result in a cohesive approach that should ensure all role players form part of finding long-term solutions to the worrying trends we have observed over the years.

In this regard, we are of the view that the SAPS should review its whole organisational structure. The main challenge is that the SAPS has become a Hollywood-like structure, in that almost everybody is acting, both at national structures, provincial structures and units across the country.

The SAPS structure in its current form is bloated, wherein you find a lot of duplicated positions. As an example, the inspectorate and management intervention perform similar functions. Human Resource functions have been divided into 3, with lots of senior managers. This has led to having too many bosses, with conflicting mandates and directives that have caused confusion and poor performance.

We currently have an acting National Police Commissioner, an acting DPCI (Hawks) Head and an acting Crime Intelligence Head to cite a few. Between now and 2012, SAPS has changed the organisational structure 5 times, without any success in dealing with a significant reduction of crime.

This has demonstrated that different leaders have come with different mandates that end up confusing the functions of police on the ground; the very people who are supposed to execute the crime prevention strategy.

We have been consistent in saying crime does not happen at national and provincial offices, where most of the man power is currently located. It is our call that the minister must urgently appoint the permanent heads of all strategic positions, streamline the structure in order to beef up the production level at the police stations with senior generals who can take decisions on the spot.

We need a vibrant crime intelligence for productive crime investigation and prevention, as we are currently reactive instead of being proactive.

Most importantly, we need to significantly improve community-policing relations through structures such as the Community Policing Forums and other social crime prevention strategies as outlined in the Know your Neighbour Campaign.

In most communities where relations are improved, there have been proven levels of the declination of criminal activity. It is our view that crime is not only a police matter, but equally a societal issue which needs both partners to consistently work together in combating.

Issued by POPCRU on 24/10/2017

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