Police slammed over approach to curb crimes against women

2015-10-14 15:28
(File, Saps)

(File, Saps)

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Parliament - The failure of the police department to reduce crimes against women raised the ire of Members of Parliament (MPs) on Wednesday.

Presenting their annual report to Parliament's police committee on Wednesday, the department told MPs they had set out to reduce the number of reported crimes against women by 2% for the year, but missed the target.

Their target for the 2014/15 year was 162 882 and there were 168 502 crimes against women reported.

MPs, however, felt by setting out a lower target for the reported crimes against women, police wanted less people to report the crimes.

Concerned MPs from the African National Congress, Democratic Alliance and Freedom Front Plus said a reduction in the number of reported crimes would not equal a reduction in the crime itself, but rather signalled a decrease in the community's trust of police.

Increase the target

"There should be an increase in the target, not a decrease. You need to get more people to come into the station to report the crimes," said FF Plus MP, Pieter Groenewald.

While National Police Commissioner Riah Phiyega tried to explain that police wanted a reduction in the crime itself by reducing the number of reports, MPs were not convinced.

ANC MP Leonard Ramatlakane said the police needed to aim for an increase in reports, before they could decrease the crime. He said there was already mistrust as victims were sometimes ridiculed or even assaulted by police when they reported crimes.

Phiyega said they needed more communication on their side to get more people to report the crimes.

"And [we want] people to know they can come in and we will listen," she said. "In these crimes, we rely solely on people coming into the station. This is not a crime we can police through stop and searches."

Read more on:    police  |  riah phiyega  |  cape town  |  parliament 2015

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