No link between Phiyega's suspension and improvement in some crime stats - Nhleko

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Cape Town - The improvement in some categories of crime should not be linked to the suspension of national police commissioner Riah Phiyega, Police Minister Nathi Nhleko said on Friday.

"The policemen and women are professionals who are trained and follow a particular set of procedures. That does not depend on the existence or non-existence of a national commissioner," Nhleko said after the release of the 2015/16 crime statistics in Parliament.

"I don't see how you tie the acting national commissioner to the current figures."

Lieutenant-General Khomotso Phahlane has been the acting national commissioner since President Jacob Zuma suspended Phiyega in October 2015, pending an inquiry into her fitness to hold office.

Nhleko said crime statistics would soon be presented every quarter, but that the police first had to fix a problem with capturing accurate information on an ongoing basis.

"That is what was holding us back. So we will give you quarterly reporting," Nhleko said.

Police have come under fire for not releasing statistics more regularly.

Political parties and analysts have said that regular releases would help pick up crime trends faster and address spikes in crime.

Nhleko said it was good that South Africa was beginning to register some progress in bringing down the figures in certain categories.

"But we are not going to be complacent about it. A lot of work has got to be done."

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