By Neelam Rahim
Police minister Bheki Cele and the management of SAPS presented the quarterly crime stats to Parliament Portfolio Committee this morning. Most concerning is that six thousand murders and eleven thousand rapes were reported in South Africa between January and March this year.
A depressing picture of life in South Africa, especially for women and children, we see a whopping jump in murder stats. Radio Islam speaks to Dr Johan Burger, an independent crime analyst.
“It’s extremely disappointing that we have not seen any improvement after the promises made with previous presentations. In fact, we have seen the opposite, which leaves rise to questions about why is this the case. There is a huge debate around this; there are some positive signs that the police are reaching out to expertise outside of the service to assist with analysing the crime situation and what’s the best to deal with this,” says Dr Johan.
Observing the category breakdown of the stats has been a substantial contributing factor in the Western Cape gang-related violence is not the biggest problem.
Dr Johan says, “When you know and understand the causing factors, the police can do much better, such as evidence-based policing. Departments that have a role in addressing the conditions that contribute to and drive some of our violent crime need to be present during the crime stats release so that questions can be answered. We need to have a more integrated approach to crime, which makes this analysis that the police do so valuable. As valuable as it is, it’s not used to involve other government agencies like NGOs and community-based structures.”
“During the hard lockdown, especially in 2020 and a large part of 2021, we saw this massive double-digit decreases in serious and violent crimes. Part of the explanation was the fact that law enforcement officials were deployed at that time and contributed to these reductions. Also of course, the restrictions on movement, since then as restrictions were lifted, we saw this gradual return to the upward crimes,” says Dr Johan.