Police Minister Bheki Cele said the first three months of the year had been brutal and unsafe for many South Africans as he released quarterly crime statistics on Friday.
During this period, SA was hit by more sexual violence , homicides and assaults compared to the same time last year.
Presenting the figures in Parliament, Cele said contact crime had increased by 15%, including homicides (up 22.2%) and sex crimes (up 13.7%). Rapes also increased by 13.7%.
Cele asked during his presentation, “What went wrong?”
At a meeting with provincial police commissioners, they agreed on provincial Districts, Clusters, and Police Stations “Need to do things differently if we want to see the results we want.”
This would start with small to major changes, including improving officers’ working conditions.
“Ensuring the availability of the necessary tools of commerce to respond to crime and root out officials who choose to intentionally disappoint the communities they are meant to serve.”
There was a trust deficit in some community relationships, and 50% of the solution to crime was better working relationships with the community.
“Police officers cannot police communities they are not part of. But we also recognize that trust is earned, not bought.”
To address this, he announced a new action called the Station Accountability Plan, which would introduce accountability at the station level to address this “dress the performance hit”.
It started from the top down. Commanders were expected to:
- know their staff;
- know the welfare of members;
- run their police station, keep track of tools of the trade and maintaining an overall healthy work environment;
- lead, be firm and committed, and its members would follow suit; and
- Building and restoring relationships between organized community structures and the broader society they served.
“It is a fact that the SAPS employs thousands of hard-working and dedicated people has police officers who put their lives at risk every day in the line of duty.
“Unfortunately, there are police officers who let communities down. Failure often begins at police stations.”
The plan would ensure that police stations would not become scenes of secondary victimization “by ourselves”.
There was now a gender-based violence (GBV) switch in 1,154 police stations.
The counters would be manned by GBV-trained officers as more than 90,000 officers were trained in victim self-determination, domestic violence and sex crime programs.
This would ensure that a victim-centred service is provided.
The plan should be implemented immediately and specifically in the 30 police stations with the highest crime rates.
Cape Town’s main police station had 2,653 reports in the top three months the highest incidence of reported crime, up from 1,720 last year.
Honeydew station in Gauteng was second with 2,149 reports and third was Durban Central with 2,037 reports.
according to According to the new plan:
- Every two weeks, station commanders had to evaluate and implement relevant action plans to contain crime;
- Commanders must have monitoring mechanisms in place to raise the alarm in good time if necessary;< /li>
- Clear crime reduction and eradication targets must be achieved within time frames;
- Commanders must work weekends and police officers should work on the streets at weekends, “since this is the peak of crime “;
- there would be expedited procedures if and when set targets were not met. “Police stations will not be tolerated to continue to occupy the same posts as high crime stations”;
the screening and monitoring of members had to be done quickly;
- SAPS management had to take the welfare and safety of all members on board into account;
- The process of repairing SAPS vehicles has been revised. “The police cars are usually out of service and wait in long lines outside the garages to be serviced or repaired.”
Criminal Investigation had to be reinforced at station level;
< There would be interactions with the communities about their security concerns and policing needs through the ministerial Imbizo program; and
Cele said the police needed to rebuild ties with the communities.< /p>
“The SAPS cannot be a haven for criminals masquerading as law enforcement officers. Providing services in the context of this organization can mean the difference between life and death.
“Interactions with communities about their security concerns and policing needs through the Ministerial Imbizo program continue to support the SAPS in improving their services to the communities.
“The complaint of slow police response inevitably comes up far too often… It is the lived experience of community members who are told far too often that there are no police cars to come and tend to their policing needs. The police cars are usually out of order.”
When asked by the media if the plan included police stations not being held accountable, Cele said accountability had always been there, but “not enough Measures”.
“Most commanders have weekends off, but if you look at crime patterns, that’s when crime is at its highest.”
A commander was like a parent and should be know how the officers are and where they’ve been.
“Communities say they don’t even know who the station commanders are.”
Support independents Journalism by subscribing to The Sunday Times. Only 20 R for the first month.