Crime fighting will remain a priority for government this year, with the introduction of several mobilisation strategies to help address the scourge.
During the course of 2018, government will implement the Community Policing Strategy.
“The Community Policing Strategy‘s aim is to gain the trust of the community and to secure their full involvement in the fight against crime,” said President Cyril Ramaphosa during his State of the Nation Address on Friday.
Government, the newly elected President said, is of the view that the relationship between the police and the public determines to a significant degree how effective policing will be in the protection of social order.
Another initiative in place will be the introduction of a Youth Crime Prevention Strategy, which is set to “empower and support young people to be self-sufficient and become involved in crime-fighting initiatives”.
In recognition of the critical role that NGOs and community-based organisations play in tackling poverty, inequality and related social problems, government is to convene a Social Sector Summit this year. Among other things, President Ramaphosa said the summit should seek to improve the interface between the State and civil society and address the challenges that NGOs and community-based organisations (CBOs) face.
According to President Ramaphosa, a key focus this year will be the distribution of resources to police at station level.
“This will include personnel and other resources to restore capacity and experience at the level at which crime is most effectively combated,” he said.
Police stations are grappling with detective and vehicle shortages, resulting in low staff morale‚ which in turn cripples the police’s ability to adequately serve the community.
The President hopes these initiatives will help address the county’s crime challenge.
The crime statistics for 2016/17 revealed concerning trends related to public safety in South Africa. Murder and organised crime – including carjacking – recorded an increase. Murder rose by 1.8% in the 2016/17 financial year after 19 016 cases were reported. Robbery with aggravating circumstances – which includes carjacking, residential and non-residential robberies, truck hijacking, cash-in-transit robberies and bank robberies – went up by 6.4% – from 132 527 reported cases in 2015/16 to 140 956 cases in 2016/17.
This article originally appeared on SANews.gov.za.