Petros hails crime strategy


The success of anticrime efforts in Gauteng can partly be attributed to an aggravated robbery prevention strategy implemented by the province in 2009, says provincial police commissioner Lieutenant General Mzwandile Petros.

The strategy, aimed at reducing the levels of violent crime and robbery , was modelled on the crime-reduction success of cities such as Bogota, Colombia and New York, the Business Day reports. It was aimed at improving investigations, arrests and convictions by dividing Gauteng into 22 intelligence-led policing clusters backed by prosecutors.

Petros said last week that the plan had since been incorporated into the Co-ordinated Policing Strategy, which had seen the province’s crime levels drop by more than 10% between last year and this year. “If you look in terms of the downward turn of crime, you might find that the gradient is sharper in the past financial year. However, it had been gradually coming down at that time, which might be (due to) the Aggravated Robbery Strategy that was in place,” he said.

Dr Johan Burger, senior researcher at the Institute for Security Studies, said the strategy was the basis for the police’s existing operational approach in Gauteng. The province accounts for half of the country’s overall crime tally, but latest statistics point to a decrease of violent crime in Gauteng.
“The Aggravated Robbery Strategy laid the foundation in Gauteng; it was an excellent strategy, it was well constructed and it was based on excellent research,” Dr Burger said. “The current approach is building on that strategy. We have to acknowledge that it has shown results because it dealt with the one crime type that the police really should be able to have an impact on.”

Dr Burger said kidnappings had risen in all nine provinces. “It came as a surprise to me as well. It just struck me, when the national statistics were released it wasn’t visible. “Doing in-depth analysis and looking at the provincial crime stats, I noticed that in each of our nine provinces kidnapping had increased. It’s a problem and it is almost unnoticed in a way.”