Community Fear over SA Murder Statistics – a meaningful strategy is urgently required
23 August 2022 – For immediate release
Another deadly quarter in South Africa has been revealed by national crime statistics released by Minister Cele on August 19th. According to the crime stats, 6 424 people were murdered during the first quarter of 2022 - an increase of 664 people.
Safe Citizen national coordinator, Jonathan Deal, said that the organisation completely agrees with the views of the executive director of the Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation, Annah Moyo-Kupeta, who according to The Star newspaper stated that,
- Increased gun violence highlighted the need to address poor policing.
- South Africa is a violent society and this is shown in the violent crimes that are increasing, and we should be looking at multiple strategies to address this issue.
- We need to look at the normalisation of violence in the country, which can be largely attributed to the increase in violent crimes.
- We need to tap into why we are so violent, and address some of the root causes for violence in the country.
- Our gun laws are not really the problem because there is still accessibility of unlicensed firearms and these are used in most criminal activities and the crimes that are recorded in the country.
- Tightening gun laws alone will not help us in solving the proliferation of unlicensed firearms in communities.
- There is a need to start doing some form of seizure of these unlicensed firearms.
- There is a need to leverage police visibility in communities towards ensuring that illegal firearms are taken away.
Statistics have shown that some crimes are committed with AK47s, and that many of the guns used to commit crime had gone missing from the SAPS and SANDF depots.
"We are concerned about the failure of the police to get a grip on crime", said Deal.
"The increasing cycle of crime appears to be almost out of control with millions of citizens living in fear of being a victim of violent crime. We believe that the police need to open community dialogue at multiple levels and ask the public for help. It is only by harnessing the power of law-abiding citizens that the country may stand a chance of escaping this endemic criminality in our communities."
"The public feel as if they are set apart from the police and there is a lack of belief in the ability of the police to do their job. For too long, communication with the citizens of South Africa by the police has been a ‘top-down’ approach that has taken us nowhere as a country. The Community Police Forums need a drastic overhaul and proper funding if they are to attract members of the community to play an active and positive role."
"It is long past time that the uniform of a police officer should symbolise trust and safety and for the police to give real effect to their motto of ‘serve and protect’. Safe Citizen calls on the senior management of SAPS and the Civilian Secretariat for Police Service to urgently implement a meaningful communications strategy with powerful role players at national level and simultaneously move at community level to build trust and cooperation."
"South Africa will never reduce or manage crime until the police make law-abiding citizens feel like their allies and partners" he concluded.
Please direct enquiries to Tim Flack at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 060 605 4562.
Persons concerned with community safety and security in SA can join Safe Citizen for free at https://www.safecitizen.co.za/join-us/