Community partnerships needed to curb crime
Police Minister Nathi Nhleko has reiterated his call for community partnerships to help address the recent spate of crimes, which has left several children dead.
Minister Nhleko said he was extremely concerned about the incidents, and urged communities to build a united front against criminals through partnerships like Community Policing Forums.
Over the last few weeks, a number of violent incidents involving children have taken place. These include the kidnapping and murder of three-year-old Cuburne Lavone van Wyk from Reiger Park. Three-year-old Luke Tibbetts died after he was shot in the head by a stray bullet in Westbury, while four-year-old Taegrin Morris (also from Reiger Park) was killed during a hijacking last month.
Minister Nhleko said underlying societal issues must be addressed in order to effectively turn the tide against crime. This, he said, could only be done through solid partnerships between all members of society, including government, business and NGOs.
"We would like to see a growing trend in the country where the police, civil society and communities are working together to ensure that South Africans feel free in their daily lives,” said the Minister.
The Minister was briefing the media after meeting with Gauteng police management.
He said the crime statistics, which will be released next month, will paint a clearer picture of the extent of crime across the country.
The Minister is on a countrywide campaign, which will see him meet with the provincial management of police and other stakeholders to address his vision and expectations.
Serving with care
Minister Nhleko said plans are on track to shift the policing approach from “force” to “service”. This is part of the strategy, as outlined in the National Development Plan (NDP), of building a professional and caring police service.
The NDP envisages a state where police work closely with communities to ensure that the root causes of crime are addressed.
To professionalise the police service, Minister Nhleko said they are already changing the way they recruit new officers.
The new recruits are taken through a stringent suitability test before they start with formal training. This is in addition to community involvement, where the community can comment on their suitability for the job.
For staff that is already on the job, Minister Nhleko said they will give them refresher training, including training on crowd management. – SAnews.gov.za