JCPS Cluster steadfast in crime fighting

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Pretoria- The Justice, Crime Prevention and Security Cluster (JCPS) says it remains resolute in its mandate to rid communities of criminals and the realisation of a South Africa where all citizens are and feel safe.

Statistical data indicates that the overall crime in South Africa had decreased. Between 2015 and 2016‚  data shows a decrease of  2.1 million crimes reported in the 12 months measured and the cluster says its work in the fight against crime will continue in earnest .

Government alone- however- cannot defeat the scourge of crime and corruption, Cluster chair and Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula said in a media briefing on Sunday.

She said each sector of society has to play its part in creating conditions where crime may no longer thrive.

“We reiterate the call on all people and sectors in South Africa to join the fight against crime and corruption. The fight against crime cannot be separated from the need for transformation of the social and economic circumstances of our people by tackling the three challenges of unemployment, poverty and the unequal distribution of the country’s wealth,” the minister said.

Attacks on foreign nationals dominated the briefing, especially with recent attacks in Johannesburg and Tshwane against those accused of involvement in illegal activities including drugs and prostitution.

Minister Mapisa-Nqakula said the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Migration, is working on addressing the underlying causes of the tensions between communities and the foreign nationals.

Some of the challenges that have been identified and being addressed are the strict implementation of labour relations policies as they pertain to foreign nationals; the implementation of the laws that govern business licenses; the country‘s border management and the country’s migration policies in general.

Border Management Authority

The cluster said it will this year expedite the establishment of an integrated Border Management Authority to improve border management, ensuring compliance with laws and the SA Constitution by citizens and foreign nationals, taking “a whole of state approach” to concerns raised by communities as well as promoting better dialogue on policing between communities and authorities.  

While this work continues, the cluster urged communities to isolate the criminal elements who are hijacking the concerns of communities to loot shops and attack innocent people just because they come from other countries.

Anyone who feels that their rights are being infringed upon was encouraged to report the matter to their nearest police station.  

“We want to assure all people in our country that the law enforcement agencies are monitoring the situation on the ground closely.  A situation where people take the law into their own hands or incite others to commit violence will not be allowed to continue.”

Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba called for responsible public comments by all leaders and public representatives and for South Africans to act responsibly to prevent any loss of life and damage to property.

“Crime is crime, no matter who commits it,” said Minister Gigaba who has been interacting with the locals which in areas which saw tensions.

He also warned against calling migrants “illegals” or “illegal aliens” even if they were undocumented migrants.

On plans around the fight against crime in hotspots like Soshanguve, the cluster reported that the multi-disciplinary operations and deployments, in all station areas bordering are being intensified.

A special team of detectives which deal with hijackings and robberies has been reinforced and communities have been urged to work closely with law enforcement agencies in this regard.

Government is also intensifying the fight against drugs with the opening of seven public treatment facilities that are operational in Gauteng, KZN, Western Cape , Mpumalanga and Eastern Cape.

“We have finished the building of three treatment centres in Limpopo and North West .Two other treatment facilities are currently being built in Free State and Northern Cape,” Minister Mapisa-Nqakula.

Prevention programmes –such education and awareness raising campaigns- are also being strengthened to support treatment services.

Fighting terrorism and extremists groups

With regards to terrorism and its related activities, the cluster, through its law enforcement agencies, continues to identify and address violent extremism and terrorism-related activities.

State Security Minister David Mahlobo committed to ensure that South Africa remains relatively safe and free of any attempts to destabilise it.

“Joint operations of all intelligence community structures will continue as well as the sharing of information critical to countering any threats that is identified.”

However Minister Mahlobo raised concern about the spread of fake news and scams. As such he said they are looking at the regulation of social media.

“We are contemplating to regulate the space. Even the best democracies that are revered, they regulate the space,” Mahlobo said, acknowledging that this might interfere with human rights. As a result, there would be a lot of public consultation on the matter.

Other plans for the cluster include reviewing the National Crime Prevention Strategy which was adopted in 1996.

The review  of the strategy according to the cluster will be to address new challenges that confront the criminal justice system. –SAnews.gov.za

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