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The Portfolio Committee on Police is of the view that the appointment of the National Commissioner of Police by the President is of vital importance in dealing with the challenges affecting policing in South Africa.
“The country needs a competent accounting officer who has the energy, strategic vision and innovation plans to fight crime and corruption,” said Mr Francois Beukman, the Chairperson of the Committee. Steps should be fast-tracked for the establishment of the National Policing Board that will set standards for the recruitment selecting, appointing and promoting officials and officers.
Mr Beukman emphasised that the increase in murder nationally is a huge concern and indicative of the level of violence in society. The increase in aggravated robbery overall by 6.4% countrywide is affecting the general feeling of safety of the citizenry and should be addressed as a matter of urgency.
The Committee is concerned that the trio of crimes have increased, with carjacking increasing by 14.5%, robbery at residential premises increased by 7.3%, and robbery at non-residential premises increases by 5%.
The appointment of a permanent Head for Crime Intelligence Division and the refocus of the division to proactively collect information should be prioritised. “Without quality information SAPS will not be able to improve their ability to detect crime,” Mr Beukman emphasised.
Furthermore, the quality of cluster and station leadership influences the ability of SAPS to effectively detect and deal with crime.
The levels of cash-in-transit robberies is concerning with it having increased in five provinces and should be urgently reviewed. The assistance by private security firms should be utilised to deal proactively with the matter.
The overall decrease in sexual offences detected as a result of police action (5.7%) should be welcomed, but the significant decreases in Limpopo (-62.15%) and Mpumalanga (-55,9%) should be addressed.
The Committee is of the view that the deployment of specialised units to deal with serious organised and violent crime is critical to deal with the occurrence of violent crime. The Committee will continue to monitor the progress with the 2 new specialised units falling under the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (DPCI) dealing with illegal fire-arms and drugs. “The drivers of crime should be the main focus of the SAPS,” Mr Beukman said.
Issued by Parliamentary Communication Services on behalf of the Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Police, Francois Beukman