Cele takes crime fighting to church

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Pretoria - National Police Commissioner Bheki Cele has roped in church leaders in the fight against crime as the government steps up its war against criminals.

In an unusual step, Cele on Tuesday met with the clergy in Johannesburg where he highlighted the importance of "shepherding a pilgrimage towards the attainment of a safer and better South Africa".

Among the issues that Cele discussed during the meeting was the ongoing attack of police officers, describing these attacks as "an attack on the rule of law and democracy".

"Serious and violent crimes linked to the use of firearms for murder, assault, armed robberies, hijackings, farm attacks, heists, etc, are also crimes of great concern to the police," Cele said.

He said crimes against women and the abduction of children; girls in particular, needed intervention of the religious fraternity by lobbying community support through their congregants against these social ills.

According to Cele, sermons can be used as effective vehicles to emphasize consequences of police killings; empower communities with knowledge and information on how to deal with and prevent domestic violence.

He urged the church leaders to join the crusade in the prevention of crime by invoking spiritual support needed by police as they embark on the process of executing their duties