Phiyega blames 'entitlement culture' for SA crime

By Drum Digital
02 October 2015

There is a culture of entitlement in South Africa contributing to the country's rise in violent crime.

This is according to national police commissioner Riah Phiyega’s analysis of the country’s crime statistics released in parliament on Tuesday.

In an analysis tabled on Thursday as an addendum to the South African Police’s annual report, Phiyega noted communities were becoming inured to the occurrence of violence and attributed some of this to media coverage of shocking crime scenes.

“This may also inspire other criminals and would-be criminals to emulate such violence and contempt for the citizens of the country and their property,” she said in the analysis.

The 2014/15 crime stats showed an increase in contact crimes including murder. In the year under review, 49 South Africans were killed daily.

Rights, responsibilities

Phiyega believed the situation was further exacerbated by the lack of balance between citizens' rights and responsibilities.

“A culture of entitlement has risen in the country that apparently justifies almost any action taken to address grievances and promote own interests. Communities have to take ownership of their own best interests including the creation of an environment free of crime and fear.”

In the analysis, Phiyega explained the trends in some contact crimes, including theft out of motor vehicles that had decreased over the past five years.

Criminals were now being forced to resort to hijacking vehicles instead of stealing out of them, she believed.

“Modern security features such as tracking and ant-hijacking devices fitted to the latest model vehicles could be dissuading criminals, causing perpetrators to opt for a hijacking. The significant decrease of 14,1% in [theft out of vehicles] over the past five years could therefore be linked to the 21,1% increase in carjacking over the same period.”

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