Don't deal with crime haphazardly - MEC

2011-09-18 23:15

Johannesburg - The North West government had stepped up the fight against police killings, Public Safety MEC Desbo Mohono said on Sunday.

"Criminals feel the pressure that we are exerting on them, and now they have resorted to reducing our men and women in dignified (sic) blue," Mohono said.

Speaking at the provincial conference of the Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (Popcru) in Klerksdorp, she described police killing as a national crisis.

She said the ministry of police has decided to make the fight against police killings a priority.

"These killings continue to undermine the human capital investment the country has built over many years of toiling which cannot be replaced overnight."

Four police officers have been killed in North West since the beginning of this year, two of them in one week.

Mohono said the response to crime was another problem experienced in the police service.

Crime patterns

"We need to study the crime patterns and trends so that our response is decisive and effective.

"We must not deal with crime haphazardly. As a point of departure, the criminal justice system needs to be transformed such that the co-ordination is not only on top with ministers, it also filters down to the magistrates, constable and warders on the ground," she said.

"We also need to enhance the witness protection programme. Our communities do not have confidence that they would be protected thus resulting in them not coming forward with relevant information."

She said the fight against crime could not be won when corruption was rife in public service in general and in the police, justice and the correctional services.

"The battle lines are drawn and our members are either on the side of the law or with the criminals. We cannot run with the hares and hunt with the hounds."

She said an officer who befriends criminals or offenders in prison betrays his oath of office and was a danger to the police service.

"An officer who overlooks an offence for a bribe is a leech who will bleed all of us to death to satisfy their greed."

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