Greater partnership needed to address SA crime stats

Members of the panel discuss the importance of partnerships between law enforcement and the private sector.

 

Members of the law enforcement and crime prevention community gathered in Sandton to discuss crime statistics and the high incidents of cash-related crimes.

The Minister of Police, Bheki Cele, released the annual crime statistics on 11 September which demonstrated an increase in many cash-related crimes. Cash Connect, a company which handles cash-in-transit, hosted the event in order to discuss possible solutions to reducing the high rates of crime – particularly related to burglary and robbery.

Richard Phillips, the joint CEO at Cash Connect, said, “There’s R135 billion circulating in South Africa at any given time, we are a major cash economy, according to Sars (South African Revenue Service) 58.2 per cent of our GDP (Gross Domestic Product) is made up of cash so it’s a very important commodity in our economy… we know that over the last couple of years it’s been the centre of attention for criminal syndicates.”

Along with Phillips, the Gauteng MEC for Community Safety Sizakele Nkosi-Malobane, Lieutenant General Sharon Jephta, the acting divisional commissioner for Visible Policing for the South African Police Service, Abraham Nelson from the Consumer Goods Council of South Africa and anti-crime activist Yusuf Abramjee participated in the discussion.

Yusuf Abramjee and Richard Phillips discuss the recently released crime statistics.

Gauteng MEC for Community Safety Sizakele Nkosi-Malobane discusses the importance of partnerships.

Each of the panellists agreed that greater collaboration between the private sector and government would assist in not only crime prevention but in ensuring that criminals are apprehended.

Jephta said that while she is horrified at the current crime statistics she is not despondent as she knows there is a movement toward greater partnership to address the issue. “Robbery has been a priority of ours for the last few years, specifically armed robberies because they have become violent. The police do have plans in place, but our plan is never just our plan, it cannot just be Saps, they are integrated plans. ”

The panellists also highlighted some of the possible solutions don’t necessarily need to be expensive. Maintaining alarm systems, installing effective CCTV cameras and thoroughly vetting all employees can help prevent crimes from being committed while visible policing also helps.

As the festive season approaches, Phillips says that cash-related crimes increase. Nkosi-Malobane said, “We will still continue deploying our student officers in all our shopping malls, Gauteng was the first province that introduced this strategy, and we’re also increasing the number of community patrollers in our shopping malls as well.”

While all the panellists expressed their worry about the current crime rates in South Africa, they expressed their optimism that greater partnerships will help ensure that South Africans will be safe in their communities.

Share your thoughts on the discussion on the Sandton Chronicle Facebook page

Related Articles:

WATCH: Police Minister Bheki Cele releases annual crime stats

Crime stats revealed, the picture in Gauteng

  AUTHOR
Laura Pisanello

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