POLICE MINISTER Fikile Mbalula believes that more specialised units‚ such as the relaunched Tactical Response Team‚ are required to deal with crime in South Africa.
“The statistics tell me that we need to build specialised units and not dismantle them‚” the former sports minister said.
“The success of the TRT and other units shows that a focused and specialised police becomes a professionalised police service.
“These things must not wait for next year but must happen now.”
Several stakeholders involved in the fight against crime were invited to the event.
Among the attendees were acting national police commissioner Lieutenant General Lesetja Mothiba and Western Cape MEC for community safety Dan Plato.
Mothiba announced the launch of a safer festive season initiative and told those in attendance that community and police relationships were important in fighting.
“There are planned stakeholder engagements with provinces and communities [to discuss this]‚” he said.
On the agenda was how communities should participate in fighting crime.
On Tuesday the publication reported that academics and researchers had called for all statistics to be made public to help communities analyse crime patterns in their neighbourhoods.
Mbalula addressed misgivings about the statistics.
“Security studies people are critical of the statistics and many other academics and they got views of what needs to happen. The NGOs play an important part in the fight against crime. We need not only to be in … endless conversation‚ we need to plot solutions‚” he said.
The statistics showed that most crimes in the past financial year were reported at police stations in the Western Cape and Gauteng.
Cape Town Central‚ Johannesburg Central and Mitchells Plan were the busiest.
Nyanga police station had the highest number of murders‚ with 281 cases.
The publication also reported that most rapes were reported in Inanda‚ Umlazi and Nyanga. Almost six rapes per week were reported at Inanda (309)‚ with around five per week at Umlazi (262) and Nyanga (256).
Mbalula also said that a “disengaged” youth and alcohol abuse were contributing to crime in the country.
“The social fibre is cracking. Young boys are [becoming] gangsters.”
“There is also an over circulation of alcohol and [maybe] we should tax it more.”
Mbalula encouraged the demilitarisation of the police service and said the problem was not in the rankings but in the “training‚ behaviour and orientation” of police.