Freedom Front Plus
Freedom Front Plus

Police’s own statistics demonstrate that the fight against crime has been lost

(Budget vote debate in Parliament: Police)

The Minister of Police is quite right in saying that a country's murder rate is indicative of whether that country's police force is successful in the fight against crime or not. The average international murder rate is 7 people per 100 000 of the population. In South Africa, that figure is 36 per 100 000 – a clear indication that our police service has lost the fight against crime.

The people of South Africa do not feel safe. This is evident in the fact that there are presently, according to the Private Security Industry Regulatory Authority (PSIRA), more than 2,5 million registered private security officers in the country. Of these, 556 000 are actively on duty.

Compare this to the police force, which has 145 000 police officers who are tasked with serving and protecting the public, and it becomes abundantly clear why the people feel unsafe in the hands of the police.

There is an amendment to the Firearms Control Act in the pipeline that aims to reduce the number of firearms in private possession because of a so-called lack of firearm control and to apparently reduce the number of murders.

Those reasons are misleading. In response to a question by the FF Plus, the Minister of Police (Bheki Cele) admitted that more people are murdered with sharp objects than with firearms.

The biggest problem with the legal licensing of a firearms lies with the central firearms registry.

An investigation that the Minister of Police launched in 2010 uncovered serious underlying shortcomings at the police's central firearms control system, such as insufficient information and an incomplete database, which is the result of flawed information technology.

These factors are still at play and are most probably much worse than in 2010. Law-abiding firearm-owners are now being blamed for the police's failure to create and implement a workable system.

Regarding farm murders, the Minister has decided to create a new category in crime statistics for the assault of farmworkers by farmers and foremen. This is just a prejudiced attempt at blaming farmers for all the assaults and related problems on farms.

To truly sketch the full picture in this regard, the Minister must also create a category for assaults on farmworkers and residents committed by other farmworkers as well as the assault of farmers and foremen by former farmworkers and residents.

Farmers will welcome such a comprehensive approach, because at the moment there are attempts to paint a partial picture depicting only farmers assaulting their workers. A complete picture with all the relevant statistics will correct this misconception.



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