Mthethwa wants tough, smart policing

2010-11-24 22:57

Johannesburg - Police minister Nathi Mthethwa on Wednesday outlined plans for effective policing in South Africa to deal a blow against the crime rate.

"...We will fight it toughly, smartly and within the confines of the law...we want to emphasise government's uncompromisable commitment to fighting crime and all its evils," he said.

"Lazy cops will have no place or space in the force....Corrupt police officers have no place in SAPS."

Mthethwa was speaking at the Chamber of Commerce in SA dinner on "A focus on the future plans of the South African Police Service, in the short term and medium term".

He said: "We also intend to utilise this opportunity to derive valuable input. Our intent stems from an understanding that to succeed in dealing a blow to the crime scourge, we broadening our interactions with all sectors of society."

Building partnerships

In addition Mthethwa said the secretariat of police was currently engaging with academics and other institutions to "continuously share best practices".

The police service would also be collaborating with Statistics South Africa to initiate another Victims Perception Survey.

This would help to understand patterns of victimisation and will begin in January next year. The government-led community-policing philosophy would also be enhanced.

"Some of the current programmes that we are currently implementing include the finalisation of a community safety forum strategy by the secretariat of police," he said.

"This strategy will outline and contribute to a greater understanding of the role and responsibility of the public in crime combating.

"It will also focus on building partnerships with civil society and corrections as a societal responsibility."

Police would also ensure that "post-the arrest phase", criminals received the harshest sentence.

"Police, through doing a thorough job in the investigations, can influence an outcome of a case. This is what we term the ground work."

The need to revitalise the intelligence component of SAPS was also prioritised.

"Equally we continue to up-skill and capacitate our detective services."

This included not only increasing the number of detectives but also the quality of those recruited.

"The success of this approach has been seen in the co-operation that has developed between the detective service, the Hawks and our crime intelligence," he said.

War rooms

On reducing backlogs, Mthethwa said: "We are well aware that we cannot strengthen our detective services without equally addressing our forensic capacity.

"Encouragingly, we are beginning to see some improvements in our forensics backlogs, which augur well for our fight against crime."

"War rooms" had also been introduced, he said.

He said the success of the war rooms is that improved, higher level linkage analysis and profiling of all criminals could be done "expeditiously and smarter".

" This has been of major assistance with regard to provincial assistance to police stations, clustering investigation teams and focusing on crime series..."

Police would also strengthen the fight on crime against women and children.

"A nation that does not protect its mothers and children is doomed."

The family violence, child protection and sexual offences (FCS) units would also be re-established, Mthethwa said.

  • wizzard_30 - 2010-11-25 02:00

    Smart policing requires smart police, and a change in attitude. At present, the criminal has more rights than the victim. One cannot defend even oneself or property without violating the criminal's rights.

      U1 - 2010-11-25 05:23

      Agree. And the "smarting up" of police should start at the top. To know how to manage an effective police force, you need skilled, smart and respected people, not caders and criminals, otherwise it is as effective as a blowup dartboard or underwater hair dryer. You can see from his statement that Mthehtwa has thw wrong approach. Investigate properly, get all the facts and leave the sentencing to the court, otherwise you get cases where evidence is manufactured, like in the Lotz case, and not the true facts.

  • Wernerkwane - 2010-11-25 06:08

    Sounds to me lip service from the ANC. There has been many officials making all the right noises but nothing gets done. I truly hope I'm wrong, and he actually does fix the Police.

      Koosie - 2010-11-25 07:02

      It is easy for you to point a finger at the ANC,let me educate you on the root of crime in South Africa,The evil system of apartheid destabilised the family values of the African masses.Now we sit with the masses who had to to fight for their fredom with violence and you still have guts to to point at the ANC.You created a monster you couldt manage.

      Paul - 2010-11-25 07:19

      its the warm up for the elections. They need to try to convince people that they are in it to actually improve life when for all even though we know its all about the money for themselves.

      Davie - 2010-11-25 07:19

      Its a slow and long process Werner, but you have to admit that we are moving in the right direction with regards to crime fighting?

      White Oak - 2010-11-25 07:27

      Koosie, please explain what these African family values were and what it is today. If you cannot then your comment has no substance and only you will understand what you mean. Personally I beg to differ from your assessment that apartheid is to blame for the criminality in South Africa.

      Kenko - 2010-11-25 08:17

      Koosie, I don't get it. Apartheid never tore families apart - why does apartheid get the blame for everything? If you care to remember the video footage of the violence at the time, you would know the violence was black on black. These statements that whites killed blacks is just untrue to say the least. You are indoctrinating gullable people and for what? See the real problem. Criminals get a hug and a kiss from the government IF they get cauht. That is the one thing that should change.

      koman.rudden - 2010-11-25 09:56

      @Koosie - what about the Jews in Nazi Germany. Do they run around raping and murdering their own? They had a far harsher reality under the Third Reich but they are now stronger than ever. Can the same be said of the blacks of South Africa?

      Mordred - 2010-11-25 11:33

      @ Koosie - I and many others are so sick to death of people like you blaming everything on apartheid. I don't know how old you are but if you were born during the past 16 years, you don't know what the hell you are talking about and are being brainwashed by your parents because you have definitely not experienced apartheid. If apartheid destroyed the African family values, then tell me where Apartheid is now because as you and I know there is no more apartheid, so please tell me why there has been a major increase in crime, African families where children are being brought up mostly by the mother or granny as the fathers just leave and why street children numbers have increased drastically to name but a few? Has apartheid been chasing fathers away and chasing children out of their homes to live on the streets? I don't think so. You and others like you sound like broken records with the same old mantra of "apartheid did this and apartheid did that and apartheid is still doing it". I am surprised that African people have'nt blamed apartheid for the fact that their skins are black but I am sure it's on the way.

  • Kruger - 2010-11-25 07:17

    I think we should give the minister and the police force the benefit of the doubt. To those who long back to the "old" police force, even they had many inefficiencies, and I recall waiting more than two hours for them to arrive at a crime scene (in days when the crime rate was significantly lower than today). More and more research indicates that focusing on your strong points has a bigger positive impact on performance. SAPS has its strong points, and I truly hope this gets reinforced. Obviously it won't improve dramatically overnight, it takes time. My best wishes to SAPS! (And now for the stream of negative comments...)

      Davie - 2010-11-25 09:14

      Good point Kruger, Positiveness breeds positive results.

  • Davie - 2010-11-25 07:18

    What about uplifting the standards of living for police officers, so that being a policeman becomes a middle class professional. This will attract better caliber peoples and those who are in will work extra hard to stay there...Pride in the Police Force will improve. While I know that a lot of good work has already been done, I think the perceptions of people needs to be changed as well. My suggestion is that SAPS get better public/media officers and use the median to better promote the efforts that are being done. Keep Up the Good Work.

  • Davie - 2010-11-25 07:25

    I want to raise one more point to Mr Mthethwa. I believe that a large majority of crime in SA is Opportunistic Crime. By that, I mean many people commit crime in the belief that theres a strong possibility of them getting away with it. Once they see and read that arrests are being made and people are being prosecuted, they element of crime will quickly disappear, and out crimes stats will decrease exponentially.

      Kruger - 2010-11-25 07:45

      This is probably the reason why the USA had so much success in bringing their crime rate down by focusing on petty crime. Your point makes a lot of sense to me. Sadly, most people get stuck on events or a series of events and then translate that into the reality everywhere and every second of the day, instead of taking the long view and looking at the big picture.

  • emma.barrycox - 2010-11-25 07:27

    Not all cops are lazy, and taking backhanders, there are a lot of good ones out there to. I am a skeptic but will give the benefit of the doubt on this one. Support the change, if change dose not happen then is time to criticizes.

  • Barry - 2010-11-25 08:03

    Mthethwa, when are you and Cele going to stop talking and start showing results. All we hear is dribble . Start by takeing away criminal rights, employ inteligent police or at least train them properly and stop relying on community policing to do your work for you

  • Mordred - 2010-11-25 10:54

    How wonderful it would be if we could really believe this lip-service again but I and many others know thats all it is and have heard it all before. Election coming up. As for Cele, he is more interested in men's fashion and his hats, he and the minister would'nt know a bad cop if they fell over him and this is why bad cops can commit crime with impunity, they abuse the power that the badge gives them, it is worth the suspension with full pay, not too much investigating is done, a rap over the knuckles and then they go back to work and carry on as before. Not all cops are bad but even before they become one, they have already lost the battle and when they see bad cops reaping the benefits of crime, they soon ask themselves why they can't as well and then the cycle starts all over again. I do know that a large majority of people do not trust the police and this because of what they see and also read about. As for me, I pray constantly that my family and I never have to be involved with or have to call on them for assistance. It would be really great if South Africans could read about or hear that Cele's threats are being carried out.

  • randrdunbar - 2010-11-25 11:25

    Mthethwa wants smart,tough policing.That has a better ring to it.Incouraging to hear of developements regarding more & effective detectives supported by an improved forensics.These go hand in glove.What bothers me are the other role players.The legal system drops the ball, thereby frustrating investigating officers in the process.Continous delays are not helping and the momentum is lost in the process.More public prosecutor's perhaps.Night courts to adress the backlog perhaps.Seperation of accused & accusers as a protection mechanism.Many crimes are not reported out of fear & uncertainty as to the reliability of protection mechanisms or lack thereof.Furthermore, the justifications for crime needs be adressed,urgently.Although controversial,the death penalty options as an effective deterant needs to be considered.

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