Crime Stats 2015 – What SAPS should be doing
Statement by Dan Plato, Western Cape Minister of Community Safety
The anticipated announcement of the national annual crime statistics on Tuesday, 29 September 2015, will mean more than merely a statistical release on the crime situation in our country, and specifically in the Western Cape.
The annual crime statistics are a measure of SAPS performance and a gauge of how well crime is being controlled. The SAPS is the authority mandated to prevent, combat and investigate crime; maintain public order; and protect and secure everyone in the country. However, SAPS cannot fight crime alone.
A united front against crime is necessary. I believe this can be accomplished through effective partnerships and targeted interventions. We need a whole of society approach, where we all play our part. It is important that the South African Police Service (SAPS) is willing and able to work with communities to stem the tide in rising crime.
Last year, the Western Cape recorded a rate higher than the national average for murder (12.8%), contact related crimes (5.6%) and property related crimes (2.3%). Categories such as attempted murder, common assault, common robbery, unlawful possession of fire-arms and drug related crimes have all seen year-on-year increases since 2010/2011.
There has been an increase in police service delivery complaints in the last year and these cannot be dismissed as isolated cases. I believe these complaints, coupled with worrying increases in attacks on police officers, show that the SAPS is not yet effectively partnering with communities to ensure the safety of residents and SAPS officers.
The Department of Community Safety, through its oversight mandate over policing in the province, will continue to monitor police efficiency and effectiveness and assist our communities in creating safer environments. We will continue to support and partner with organisations that have safety as their primary concern. We continue to partner with the SAPS and support the dedicated men and women in blue who risk their lives on a daily basis to protect Western Cape residents.
The SAPS need to work with communities where crime figures are not improving, and replicate the success of community based initiatives from areas where crime reduction has been possible.
Cell: 079 694 1113