The Public Servants Association (PSA) are disturbed about the relaxed attitude of the South African Police Service (SAPS) towards escalating crime rates.
SAPS targets yet to be met
President Cyril Ramaphosa gave police an ambitious target to cut violent crimes in half in the next decade. The Minister of Police, Bheki Cele, indicated that SAPS is aiming to achieve this goal in the shortest possible time.
He also mentioned that all resources and operational strategies have been channelled accordingly to reach these targets. The PSA, therefore, fails to understand the snail’s pace at which SAPS is implementing strategies to eradicate crime.
Statistics show that a shocking 21 022 people were murdered between April 2018 and March 2019. The overall statistics indicate that crime has increased by 3.4%, with at least 58 people being murdered every day. In the face of escalating crime, the PSA is disturbed that SAPS is sitting on resources while it has a mandate to execute.
In 2010, there were approximately 60 000 police reservists, whilst in 2019 there are only 8 000. SAPS should recognise that the real issue is the country’s socio-economics, including a violent history, which should be considered when assessing the crime problem. Research shows that there is no direct link between unemployment and, for example, homicide.
The PSA calls on SAPS to urgently go back to the drawing board to find a constructive implementation strategy for crime-prevention initiatives such as those that were effective in combatting cash heists and bank robberies. The private sector and communities should be part of the solutions.
The PSA is especially concerned about the burden on various groups of employees including educators, police officers and emergency workers who are increasingly being exposed to violent crimes in the executing of their critical duties in upholding society. The Union indicated that there is need for mental assessment of perpetrators of violence to aid the establishment of preventative measures.
The PSA is calling on the Minister of Police to refrain from delaying the implementation of his mandate by perpetually making theoretical strategies that do not contribute to the upholding of moral conviction.
All government institutions with a role to play, including National Intelligence, Safety and Security, Social Development, and Education, as well as the private sector and the public at large must revert to basics and ensure a united approach against crime at all levels of society, including support by police reservists, community policing forums.