Paradigm shift needed to fight crime – Joemat-Pettersson

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Police Minister Bheki Cele’s crime statistics showing, among others, a murder rate in excess of 7 500 for the third quarter of last year, drew a call from Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Police (PCP) for “a paradigm shift if South Africa is to overcome this scourge”.

A statement attributed to PCP chair Tina Joemat-Pettersson, has it the SA Police Service (SAPS) and its civilian secretariat should collaborate to find “workable solutions to the rampant crime levels”. The statement was issued after a PCP meeting which “interrogated” Cele’s statistics.

“The committee remains concerned by the upward trend in contact crimes and urges a paradigm shift if the country is to overcome this scourge.  We remain concerned that murder has gone up by 10,0%, sexual offences increased by 9.6% and attempted murder by 24.3%. All these indications point to a need to change gear and find workable solutions,” Joemat-Pettersson is quoted as saying.

The PCP further noted concern around escalating cross border related crimes, also urging for collaboration with neighbouring countries for “partnership anchored interventions”.

“To this end, the committee welcomed information that Minister Cele and senior SAPS Management of SAPS are engaged with their counterparts in neighbouring countries to stop the tide of crime across borders.”

As part of its contribution to helping stem crime, the PCP was briefed by the Pretoria-based Institute of Security Studies (ISS) on evidence-based policing calling for police to interact with the think-tank on information and expertise needed to fight crime.

We need all the expertise we can get in streamlining efforts to ensure safety and security in the country. A safe South Africa will unlock economic potential, a critical requirement to fight unemployment, inequality and poverty,” according to the PCP chair.