Crime stats ‘unacceptable’

2008-06-30 00:00

Cape Town — Despite reported decreases in South Africa’s crime statistics, the consensus among opposition parties yesterday was that the crime rate is still unacceptably high.

Key among the opposition response to the statistics were concerns relating to the disbanding and relocation of the Scorpions and the fact that National Police Commissioner Jackie Selebi has been placed on leave, with full pay, while his court case drags on.

DA Safety and Security spokeswoman Dianne Kohler-Barnard said a significant reduction in crime could be achieved if the necessary leadership and proper policies were in place. “Unfortunately, both are glaringly absent at present, as is typified by the current situation with Jckie Selebi,” she said.

Kohler-Barnard said decreases are welcomed “if they represent decreases in crime and not in reporting rates”.

“According to available figures, as many as 51% of victims don’t report serious crimes, such as robbery, and only 49% feel that the police are doing a good job.”

Freedom Front spokesman Pieter Groenewald said the statistics showing declines in certain crimes could create a false sense of confidence.

“The figure for murder is now 38,6 per 100 000 of the population but the world average for murder is five per 100 000 of the population.”

The African Christian Democratic called on crime-weary citizens to oppose the disbanding and relocation of the Scorpions by flooding Parliament with submissions in support of their retention in anticipation of the public hearings that will be held on August 5, 6, and 7 at Parliament in Cape Town.

Submissions can be sent by e-mail to psibisi@parliament.gov.za.

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