Police tackle low conviction rates


Efforts are being made to ensure that once arrested, criminals are convicted of their crimes and kept away from society.

This is according to Gauteng Police Commissioner Lieutenant-General Mzwandile Petros, who was speaking at the Institute for Security Studies Seminar on provincial crime trends on Thursday.

Petros said he was busy addressing the issue of low conviction rates and had been meeting with police officers, prosecutors and magistrates to deal with it, BuaNews reports.

Gauteng police were also focusing on the quality of its detectives, with a strategy in place in enhance detectives’ skills.

Police were competing with the private sector for the expertise of detectives, the commissioner said.

It was inevitable that some detectives would be lost to the private sector but police would do what they could to retain them, including “blackmailing” them by appealing to their conscience, he added.

On the issue of police corruption, the commissioner said the large number of police officers already arrested was nothing to be ashamed about.
“I’m not ashamed that so many people were arrested. I would be ashamed if someone else had carried out the investigations and made arrests without us being involved,” he said.

Police were serious about rooting out corruption within their ranks and would continue to inform the public about these efforts so that trust in the police was restored.

Criminals were like business people in that they were constantly looking to diversify, he added. The moment police closed down on one avenue of crime, criminals branched out into another.

Police therefore, need to constantly be on their toes and carry out extensive planning so that they were always one step ahead of the criminals, Petros said.
“The solution is to arrest people and put them behind bars. That’s the only deterrent.”

Brigadier Selala Pheto said the significant decrease in crime that was noted in Gauteng recently was due to Gauteng Co-created Policing Strategy that was developed after consultation with the public and stakeholders.

Some of the short term measures implemented that contributed to the decline in crime included sector policing, the urban and rural flying squad, improving police response time, addressing corruption and building partnerships. – BuaNews