SA needs special crime units

2009-09-27 14:37

Johannesburg - The Democratic Alliance on Sunday said it would request Parliament's police committee to debate the reconstitution of specialised units.

"Statistics released show shocking increases in crimes in areas affected by the closure of specialist units, " DA spokesperson on police Dianne Kohler-Barnard said in a statement.

"There is a 12% year-on-year increase in sexual offences, and 87% in drug-related crime since the shutting down of the narcotics bureau," she said.

Kohler-Barnard said that although though the Minister of Police Nathi Mthethwa had hinted at a return of the family violence, child protection and sexual offences units, it was essential that he also act on the drug crisis in South Africa.

"The year the narcotics bureau was disbanded, [the South African Police Service] reported 62 689 drug related crimes for 2003/2004, but the figure now stands at 117 172," she said.

The DA called on Mthethwa to reinstate an independent, autonomous and well-equipped anti-drug unit.

Kohler-Barnard said the narcotics bureau remained the most effective tool for properly tackling drug trafficking and other drug-related crimes.