Mokonyane gets tough on crime

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Johannesburg - Gauteng Premier Nomvula Mokonyane has called for closer collaboration between the police and security companies to fight crime in the province.

"We can defeat crime. We have no choice but to start working together. Ordinary South Africans expect safety and comfort in their homes because they know we are there. We dare not fail them," she told a crime workshop, on Tuesday.

She said a strong perception persisted that the law enforcement agencies operate in isolated units and that there was no prudent utilisation of the scarce resources to combat crime.

"We have witnessed significant growth and proliferation of private security outfits, but unfortunately these have failed to make a dent against crime."

Mokonyane told delegates that they needed to improve and intensify the fight against crime, ahead of next year's FIFA world cup.

The latest crime statistics indicated Gauteng was struggling to lose its reputation as a gangster's paradise and crime capital of the country.

According to the 2008/2009 Crime Stats, 20 of the 29 categories of crime incidents recorded have increased in the province.

Nearly 18 000 cases of sexual crimes, including rape, were reported in Gauteng between April 2008 and March 2009.

Over 3 800 people were murdered in the province during that same period which is up marginally year on year.

Mokonyane said the low conviction rate was worrying as it led to the public losing faith in the criminal justice system.

The delegates discussed measures to strengthen the regulatory framework for the private sector security industry and incentives that will encourage cooperation among all security and law enforcement agents.

At the end of the meeting, delegates were expected to agree on practical programmes of action, aimed at joint operations against crime.