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Police need more resources

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The SAPS has, in many instances, become a mere spectator to crime

File photo: SAPS (Twitter)

THE DA has appealed to the Northern Cape Provincial Police Commissioner, Lieutenant-General Risimati Shivuri, to ensure that more and better resources are allocated to police stations to ensure the safety of the people of the Province.

DA provincial leader, Andrew Louw, said yesterday that the annual crime statistics confirmed that locals were unsafe in their homes, their cars and their places of work.

“The constant upward trend in the number of robberies and carjackings in the Northern Cape is very unsettling. Few people can afford to put up devil’s fork fencing, electric fences and install alarm systems. Instead, they are sitting ducks for criminals.”

Louw added that a reply to a parliamentary question by the Minister of Police recently revealed that whilst the government spends R9.1 million on VIP services to safeguard a single politician, the government spends only R1 500 to protect the citizens of South Africa. “Safety has been reserved for politicians.”

Louw went further to say that safety was meant to be a basic right, not a luxury.

“Yet the SAPS has, in many instances, become a mere spectator to crime. It records incidents of criminality but cannot prevent crime through visible policing or adequately address crime by way of ensuring that perpetrators are arrested and successfully tried in courts of law.”

Call-outs

He added that a recent inspection of the police station in Ritchie revealed how a dire lack of police vehicles prevented the police from attending to emergency call-outs and following up on cases. “This is the situation everywhere,” Louw stated.

“Mounting levels of crime in the Northern Cape, from robbery with aggravating circumstances to sexual assault, drug-related crime and stock-theft, are the effect of chronic under-training, under-staffing, under-resourcing and under-equipping of the police.

“A well co-ordinated and urgent effort by the SAPS is urgently required if the police are ever to take back their hold on crime. We need more police officers, better training and additional vehicles in the Northern Cape. Without these basic crime-fighting tools, crime will continue to destroy the freedoms which South Africans deserve.”

He stated that ordinary citizens, not just high-ranking politicians, should be able to go about their day-to-day lives without the constant fear of pending crime.

The ANC Caucus nationally meanwhile said the crime statistics painted a concerning picture of a continuous rise in contact crime in our country.

“While we appreciate the South African Police Service’s continued efforts to fight crime, the upward trajectory in the murder rate, which has increased by 6.9%, is a matter of grave concern. The report reflects firearms (41%) and knives (31%) as the key instruments used to commit murder. This demands firmer regulation in the acquisition of firearms and other harmful instruments. We must also intensify our fight against the possession of illegal firearms in our country,” ANC Chief Whip, Jackson Mthembu, said.

He added that gender-based violence continued to be on a worrying increase, with an increase nationally of 8.2% in cases of sexual assault and a 0.5% increase in rape cases.

“Our fight against crime requires action by all South Africans. The role of communities in crime-fighting cannot be overemphasised because stolen and hijacked goods are often traded in our communities.”