Remove guns from society to reduce crime

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

White River - Acting National Police Commissioner, Lieutenant General Khomotso Phahlane, says firearms and ammunition should be taken from the hands of criminals to deal with the trio crimes of car hijacking, house robberies and business robberies.

“Firearms are commonly used in the commission of trio crimes and other serious and violent crimes. We must continue to make a concerted effort, together with stakeholders and communities, to remove illegal firearms from society," said Phahlane.

He was speaking to media following a three-day plenary session which included the provincial and national leadership of the police, in White River, in Mpumalanga, on Tuesday.

The plenary meeting comes after the national crime statistics showed that trio crimes were on the rise.

Trio crimes - which are aggravated robberies like carjacking, robbery at residential premises and robbery at non-residential premises - went up by 8.2% – from 42 044 cases in 2015 to 45 512 cases in 2016.

Phahlane said the meeting had decided to add personnel and resources to police stations to deal with crime.

"It is worth mentioning that there was an encouraging downward trend in the 17 community-reported crimes which are grouped into the categories of contact crime, contact-related crime, property-related crime and other serious crime.

“The serious contact crimes of murder, attempted murder, sexual offences, serious assault, common assault and common robbery all decreased. This leads us to believe that our Back-to-Basics approach to policing is making an impact on the crime picture in our country,” he said.

The Back-to-Basics approach to policing, which was introduced last year, focuses on every police officer doing the basics of policing and on doing these basics properly and consistently.

Phahlane, however, expressed concern at the increase in robbery with aggravating circumstances.

It was decided that worrying stubborn crime trends, as well as the issue of the proliferation of illegal firearms, would be further discussed at a strategic meeting to be held in the future.

The Acting National Police Commissioner added that the session had also touched on issues of border crime and protests.

Phahlane said the session's resolutions are to be taken into consideration in dealing with crime. However, they will not be discussed in public to make sure that criminals do not get their operational plans. - TLM

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