SAPS, AfriForum work together to tackle farm attacks

2016-05-04 21:00
(File, Saps)

(File, Saps)

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Pretoria - The South African Police Service (SAPS) and AfriForum have collaborated in an attempt to prioritise farm attacks and murders in South Africa.

AfriForum's Ernst Roets and the Acting National Police Commissioner, Lieutenant General Khomotso Phahlane together briefed media at the South African Police Academy on Wednesday.

They spoke about strategies for the prioritisation of farm murders in the country with one of the main focuses being the identification of targeted areas as well as the involvement of local residents in preventing these crimes.

This followed a statement in January by Phahlane that the SAPS needed to make a bigger priority of farm murders.

AfriForum welcomed this statement and said that they would make resources and information available to the police that might assist them in this regard.

Phahlane said on Wednesday that police meant it when they said that farm attacks should be a priority. He added that the victims were not only white people.

"We should not confine [ourselves] to the idea that farmers are only white people. Farmer families and farm workers also become victims."

He said police accepted that they couldn't win the fight against farm crimes on their own and that neighbourhood watches should also become involved.

Although farm attacks and killings had slowly declined, police believed that this is not good enough.

Farm attacks have decreased from 532 in 2010/11 to 446 in 2015/16 while farm murders decreased from 80 in 2010/11 to 49 in 2015/16 according to Phahlane.

He said that the farm attacks have seen certain trends, including that perpetrators are usually between two and eight people split into two groups while most of the attacks are committed by males of which many are foreigners.

Suspects are usually between 20 and 35-years-old while victims are mostly 50 years or older.

Provinces identified as hotspots are KwaZulu-Natal, North West, Limpopo and Gauteng, and areas that are commonly targeted include Brits, Rustenburg, Potchefstroom, Mooinooi and Madingley.

Roets said farm attacks had been gradually deprioritised, but the announcement that police have prioritised them was welcomed.

"The National Development Plan states that by 2030 a million jobs should he created by farmers. It is difficult if the job creators are killed."

Read more on:    police  |  afriforum  |  pretoria  |  crime  |  farm attacks

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