Crime stats not the key, says top Cape cop

2012-10-03 20:35
(Picture: Sapa)

(Picture: Sapa)

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Cape Town - The perceptions of communities are a more reliable indicator of crime than national statistics, Western Cape provincial police commissioner Arno Lamoer said on Wednesday.

"I don't believe in decreases and increases of crime of more than 10% to 15%, to 30%, 40% percent because something must be seriously wrong in crime [statistics] for it to fluctuate that way," he told the Cape Town Press Club.

"We can celebrate the decreases in crime, but what difference does it make to a baby girl of 18 months who was raped? It doesn't make any sense."

He said the job of the police was to ask how they could go back to a community and change the perceptions of where they lived, or of the government that was tasked with protecting them.

Partnerships with various non-governmental organisations played a key role in keeping an ear to the ground and identifying victims.

Lamoer told reporters the province was afflicted by gang-related violence, substance abuse and illegal firearms.

However, there was also an increasing trend of crimes against women and children.

"For us, the last one is sad and also very serious. Victims of sexual offences are becoming younger and younger ..." the commissioner said.

He said on Wednesday morning alone, he had heard of three young girls who were raped in separate cases, aged four, five and 10.

"It [rapes] is with people that they know: their fathers, their step-fathers."

He said the police had "excellent partnerships" with non-governmental organisations such as Rape Crisis and The Pink Ladies but more was needed to fight such crimes.

The partnership with the provincial social development department, for instance, was "not up to scratch" when it came to abuse.

- SAPA
Read more on:    police  |  arno lamoer  |  cape town  |  crime stats
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