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Reducing violent crimes

Minister Nhleko said better planning was needed

to combat violent crimes, especially with the festive season around the corner.

“The starting point will be issues of planning and coordination, particularly to deal with the increase in robberies over the festive season. Our emphasis will be on intelligence driven policing.”

He believes that community outreach programmes that support the work

of the police will help develop this intelligence and ultimately reduce contact crimes.

“There are also issues that we as a society at some point need to debate on, such as the culture of violence… There is something extremely wrong about the thinking and approach on the issue of violence.”

“Crime takes place anywhere in the world. What diff ers is the manner in which the crimes are executed from one country to another.

A person snatches a cellphone from you but still isn’t satisfi ed, and then shoots you.

There is level of violence that accompanies crime.” Another area that needs attention is violence against vulnerable groups.

“We need to discuss these societal issues. I grew up at a time when a grandmother was protected by the community.

This thing of raping the elderly is more than abnormal, it is an indefinable sickness.” “The other aspect is that children need to be protected at all cost.

They are often victims of sexual violence.” Minister Nhleko said these were not necessarily policing matters but issues that society needed to look into.

The state of policing While the police often attract criticism, Minister Nhleko said it must be understood that the SAPS is still a growing organisation that is transforming.

 “It’s an institution that needs to find better ways and means to do its work.

Policing in the context of democracy is an ongoing challenge. There has been a significant shift.

“If you look at police pre–1994, it was a different institution – highly militarised and absolutely no negotiation skills, no soft human touch. There has been a lot of change with the police becoming more civilianised.”

Minister Nhleko feels strongly that police are not acknowledged for the work they do.

“We need to accept that policing is an emotive subject. I don’t think there is enough credit given to the police.

I keep reminding people that part of the reason why we have a stable democracy and a stable democratic election is the work of the police.”

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