Accurate Crime Stats are Needed for Effective Service Delivery
As the Minister of the Community Safety it is my constitutional duty to ensure that the people of the Western Cape receive a proper and professional service from the South African Police Service (SAPS).
Shortly after my appointment as minister, I received anonymous envelopes containing information regarding alleged crime statistics manipulation at the Paarl, George and Oudtshoorn police stations. I subsequently laid a complaint with the Independent Complaints Directorate (ICD) and requested them to investigate the allegations of the manipulation of crime stats at these police stations.
The ICD yesterday held a media briefing in which they reported back on their investigations into police misconduct including rape, murder, torture and assault, as well as crime stats manipulation.
I am pleased to have been informed that they have found substance to these allegations and that they have now identified suspects and are in the process of interviewing these persons.
When crime stats are manipulated, it skews the picture and ultimately affects service delivery, as police resources are allocated based on the crime levels in the area. This in essence robs communities of their right to services and we cannot allow this to happen.
A previous incident in the Western Cape led to the suspension and dismissal of the station commander at the Lansdowne police station. I am therefore looking forward to the final report and recommendations by the ICD and would like to see consistency from the office of the Provincial Commissioner in dealing with related incidents.
The Constitution states that all South Africans are equal before the law and there is no clearer example of our Constitution in action, than when officers of the law, who break the very laws they should be upholding and enforcing are held to account and made to pay for their crimes.
I want to assure the broader public that I will do everything in my power to ensure that the police acts within the confines of their mandate and I will watch the process with an eagle's eye.
I urge all station commanders to use this as a lesson and ensure that there is not a repeat of this type of incident. Those found guilty of such misconduct will face severe consequences.
Adv. Lennit Max
Western Cape Minister of Community Safety
Spokesperson for Minister Max
Cell: 078 887 7004