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Mixed reaction on crime stats!

The murder rate over the past year has increased by 4.6% over the past year‚ Police Commissioner Riah Phiyega said.

Mixed reaction on crime stats!

Under pressure. National Police commissioner Riah Phiyega has to deal with the latest crime stats and secondly, if she’s fit to be in office?

Attempted murder had also seen an increase of 3.2 % while common robbery and aggravated robbery rose by 2.7 and 8.5% respectively.

Sexual offences recorded a 5.4% decrease while common assault also decreased over by 2.8% over the past year.

Crimes as a result of police detection showed mixed results in 2014/15.

National police commisioner Riah Phiyega said these statistics should show an increase. However‚ illegal possession of drugs charges dropped by 1.6%.

“This is not a direction it should take” she said.

Drug-related crimes showed a slight increase of 2.4% and driving under the influence decreased by 1.7%.

Phiyega said it wasn’t clear if drunk driving campaigns were resulting in lower arrests for drunk driving.

Sexual offences detected as a result of police action had increased by 34.3% this year.

Theft of motor vehicles declined by 2.7% while theft out of motor vehicles went up slightly by 1.1%.

Burglary and stock theft showed increases of 1.2% and 1.8% respectively.

Arson saw a 6.1% drop while commercial crimes also dropped significantly‚ by 11.6%.

Meanwhile, the Congress of the People (COPE) said on Tuesday it remained sceptical about Police Minister Nathi Nhleko’s ability to reverse crime in South Africa‚ and the party said the latest crime statistics were “highly questionable” and only “the tip of the iceberg”.

“We remain a very violent society where nothing has fundamentally changed. Tomorrow remains as dangerous as today and yesterday‚” COPE spokesman Dennis Bloem said.

“The minister mentioned the all important National Development Plan (NDP) only in passing at the very end of his presentation. He did not use the NDP as his central springboard to present his report.

“In his own words he ‘remained committed to building relationships’ of the type the NDP recommended. In other words‚ he hadn’t done so and he was simply kicking the can forward. It is tragic that he paid only lip service to the NDP.”

The fact that 83% of the crimes reported at police stations comprised the so called “17 community related crimes” showed clearly the importance of implementing the recommendations of the NDP.

“In particular‚ there is a huge need for government to create multilevel partnerships to strengthen communities. Furthermore‚ the confiscation of 1.7 billion liters of alcohol by the police again highlights the importance of strengthening communities.

“The causal relationships between drug and alcohol abuse and contact crimes are well established. The need to strengthen communities‚ therefore‚ is an imperative that needs the full attention of government.

“The minister repeated the critical importance of mobilising social forces to tackle the prevalence of violence. Unfortunately‚ he has done nothing whatsoever in this regard. This is a glaring failure on his part‚” Bloem said.

“In our view‚ the minister was wrong in thinking that anyone is ‘hallucinating’ that the police can‚ on their own‚ resolve the prevalence of crime. We know that they cannot do this on their own.

“We all concur that the government must tackle the socio-economic problems‚ build critical partnerships‚ deal with service delivery issues‚ reach an agreement with the violence ridden taxi industry‚ create easily accessible roads in informal housing settlements and integrate government’s approach to dealing with firearms.

“The strengthening of communities is the task waiting for all of us to take up. People are becoming desperate‚” he said.

“The president pretends to listen; but does not lift a finger to do anything about the problems plaguing marginalised communities. He is betraying them. COPE challenges him to prove otherwise.”

The COPE spokesman said the commissioner for police had dealt in detail with the problem of people amassing firearms in South Africa and the considerable challenges posed by corrupt officials‚ in state institutions‚ stealing and selling firearms.

“The inflow of firearms from across our borders just adds to our danger. In 2014‚ the police destroyed 14‚000 firearms. This year they destroyed 9‚000. This is a drop in the ocean.

“Besides guns flowing into the country‚ there is also the enormous problem of criminals from a whole lot of countries slipping in‚ undocumented‚ into South Africa and creating criminal networks. Communities have a lot to worry about‚ South Africans‚ under the present circumstances‚ are petrified of break-ins and home robberies.

“Murder and attempted murder are dominant features in contact crimes. Furthermore‚ gangs remain intact and in business. Therefore‚ contact crime will remain stubborn and people will continue to suffer the consequences of crime.

“The government must fully implement Chapter 12 of the NDP immediately. The task of building safer communities is more urgent than ever before. We have a socio-economic problem that is so serious as to warrant the government declaring it a national crisis.

“Every minister‚ MEC and mayor must therefore walk the township streets and begin to deal with the problems there that are fuelling crime. As crime peaks during weekends and holidays‚ when individuals abuse alcohol and drugs‚ the police and communities must do more to bring the situation under control.

“COPE is adamant: Fix the townships and crime will start to fix itself.”

Bloem said that from listening to the report of the minister and the commissioner‚ it was clear that “Nathi Nhleko is failing to provide the kind of leadership that SAPS needs. He is an apologist par excellence‚ not the doer the country needs.

“The statistics presented are highly questionable. Crime is far worse than the statistics reveal.

“COPE is of the view that what we are told is only the tip of the iceberg.

“Chapter 12 of the NDP lays out what government needs to do. Its failure to implement the recommendations leaves every citizen‚ who is without body guards‚ in constant and serious danger.”

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