Cape Town - National Police Commissioner Bheki Cele says as long as people are falling victim to violent crimes in South Africa, the police will continue to look for solutions to the country's crime problem.
"Much work still needs to be done to tackle crime in South Africa. We really have to improve our strategies to fight crime," said Commissioner Cele.
He said rather than "folding our arms and crying" about the areas in the crime statistics released on Tuesday for the period 1 April 2008-31 march 2009, which saw increases in some areas, the police needed to find answers to the problems and enhance their programmes.
For his part, Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa said government was committed to fighting crime, especially in areas where there had been increases.
And in areas where there have "been positive in-roads, we will continue to work hard and smart to entrench these successes."
He further said that government was committed to improving the lives of people in the country and ensuring an enhanced level of safety and security.
Noting some of the police's successes in the reporting period, Mthethwa said murder and attempted murder decreased by 3.4 and 4.3 percent respectively, common assault declined by 4.3 percent, while assault with the intention to do grievous bodily harm decreased by 4.7 percent over the last year.
He said government was pleased with the decline in these crimes, as well as the dramatic 29.2 percent decline in bank robberies.
"Some of the key factors contributing to this level of success include the partnership developed between business and government and measures introduced by the banks themselves," the minister explained.
Street robberies and common robberies, which make up the largest category of aggravated robberies, also declined by 7.4 and 8.9 percent respectively.
The decline in both street and common robberies was undoubtedly a positive trend, said the minister, adding that government would continue to fight this form of crimes.
He reiterated that despite this decline, the number of street robberies still remained unacceptably high, adding that government would ensure that it did not become complacent about these types of crimes.