SA needs new approach to crime - ISS

2014-09-19 14:41
(Nielen de Klerk, News24)

(Nielen de Klerk, News24)

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Pretoria - South Africa urgently needs a new approach to crime, violence and public safety, the Institute for Security Studies (ISS) said in a statement.

This comes after the release of the 2013/14 national crime statistics in Pretoria on Friday.

The statistics showed murder had risen by 5%, home robberies were up by 7.4%, business robberies were up by 13.7% and car hijackings had increased by 12.3%.

The ISS said the statistics "are a stark reminder of how far South Africa still has to go to reduce violence and crime".

Concern

Gareth Newham, head of the ISS Governance, Crime and Justice division, said the increase in serious violent crimes such as murder for a second consecutive year was concerning.

"This shows that we urgently need a new approach to reduce violence and crime. We must address serious challenges facing the police, involve other government departments, and look hard at the factors which cause violence," Newham said.

The ISS said it had identified three focus areas for the reduction of crime and violence. These include reducing aggravated robbery; implementing the National Development Plan to improve public confidence in the police; and developing a violence reduction strategy focused on risk factors.

ISS senior researcher, Dr Johan Burger, said it was important to increase public confidence in the police and boost the morale of police officers. "Increasing trust and respect from the public in the police, because they behave and act as trained professionals, is indispensable for improving safety in our communities," Burger said.

Meanwhile, AfriForum said the crime statistics showed more emphasis on community policing and community empowerment was needed.

"The statistics show that basic crimes are not being countered by the SAPS. The solution to violent crimes is a combination of efficient crime intelligence and swift response to crime call-outs. Communities in South Africa live in fear due to inadequate and sluggish response from the SAPS," said AfriForum head of community safety, Ian Cameron.

Read more on:    iss  |  crime stats  |  crime  |  crime stats 2014

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