Govt's crime strategy failing: ISS

By Drum Digital
19 September 2013

An increase in serious and violent crime in South Africa shows that government's approach to crime is not working.

An increase in serious and violent crime in South Africa shows that government's approach to crime is not working, the Institute for Security Studies (ISS) said on Thursday.

"After a long period of decreases in serious and violent crime, these are the worst figures we have seen in 10 years," said ISS analyst Gareth Newham.

"Violence remains unacceptably high and should be treated as a serious crisis which stands in the way of South Africa's social and economic development."

Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa released the 2012/13 crime statistics in Pretoria on Thursday.

Mthethwa said the number of murders had increased by 0.6 percent in the past financial year. However, it was down 16.6 percent over the past four years, and 27.2 percent over the past nine years. "Since 1994, we have been making steady progress in the fight against crime. We will work double hard to ensure this slight increase is re-routed to the downward trends that we experienced over the past nine years," he said. There was also a 6.5 percent increase inattempted murder in the year under review.

This was in contrast to the 16.8 percent over the past four years and 51.7 percent over the past nine years.

"We understand that the police work under very difficult circumstances, and we applaud the many officers who work tirelessly to combat crime and to protect people and communities in South Africa," said Newham.

But, reducing crime was not only a police responsibility.

"There is also an important role for other government departments such as health, education and social development," he said.

-by Sapa

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