Over the last few years, the police’s crime statistics show a consistent rise in crime which correlates strongly to, aside from other related factors, the deterioration of the police force.
The figures released today indicate that, compared to the corresponding period last year, there was a slight decrease in murder (0,8%) and sexual offences (1,5%), but all the other categories of violent crime show an increase.
There was also a sharp rise of 18,6% in incidents of attempted murder on women, while incidents of serious assault on women rose with 5,1%, and serious assault on children increased with 22,8%.
One of the feared trio crimes, robberies at residential premises, increased with 3,8%. Carjackings decreased with 2,3%.
It is also evident that the typical holiday season-related crimes, such as shoplifting (5,5%) and theft from vehicles (0,3%), are already on the rise and the public should remain vigilant.
A welcome statistic is that incidents of driving under the influence of alcohol decreased with 31,3%. The FF Plus hopes this trend will continue throughout the festive season.
Yesterday’s debate in Parliament on how to effectively combat the increase in serious and violent crime points to the sheer gravity of the country’s crime problem.
The findings of research conducted by the Institute for Security Studies (ISS), which were released last week, indicate that murder increased with 53% since 2012.
The situation in KwaZulu-Natal, where 70% of the province’s Task Force members left the police service within a short period of time, provides a good indication of the state of the police service.
Some of the reasons cited for the resignations include poor salaries, poor working conditions and a poor promotion policy, which relates directly to Affirmative Action (AA).
These reasons apply to the entire police service – from all specialised units right through to station level. Expert and skilled members who form the backbone of the police are leaving the force while corruption and deteriorating morale are rampant.
There are constant cuts to the police budget, while the number of police officers per members of the population keeps decreasing. The ratio currently stands at one policeman for more than 420 members of the public.
Government did announce a plan to address crime last year, the Integrated Violence and Crime Prevention Strategy, but like most of the ANC’s plans it has not been put into practice.
Ultimately, no plan can be successful on the one hand, while government is undermining it with damaging policy on the other.
The country’s citizens will have no choice but to increasingly take responsibility for their own safety and security until a competent government that truly cares about its people and is serious about combating crime comes into power.