‘Four U’s and five questions about the crimes stats’: DA

The Democratic Alliance (DA) has four U’s and five questions about the crime stats.

Among them was a renewed call for the annual report to be released on Friday‚ by the minister of police and national commissioner of the service‚ instead to be delivered on a quarterly basis.

It formed one of the five questions the DA had for Nkosinathi Nhleko and Lieutenant-General Khomotso Phahlane ahead of the Pretoria briefing where crime figures collated for period between April 1‚ 2015 and March 31‚ 2016 will be made public.

“…There are many problems with the crime statistics themselves‚” said the DA’s Zakhele Mbhele.

“When they are released‚ they are already out of date; the statistics are not independently verified‚ incentivising a decrease in crime rates often only incentivises under-reporting by the police; and specific crimes‚ such as farm murders‚ are not reported on.”

Mbhele said he did not expect Friday’s announcement to “buck the trend” that has seen “increasing levels of crime‚ especially violent and property crimes” year on year.

These increases‚ he argued‚ “are a consequence of the shoddy state of the police service at station level‚ best characterised by the ‘four U’s’ — under-resourced‚ under-trained‚ under-equipped and under-staffed — as well as historically poor and politically appointed leadership”.

He challenged that if Nhleko and Phahlane “are truly committed to their mandate to effectively lead the SAPS and to enable them to do their jobs‚ they will answer the following questions”:

– How will the chronic under-resourcing and under-staffing of the SAPS at station level be addressed and specifically‚ how will they ensure that the scarce resources at their disposal are efficiently used for the reduction of crime?

– What will the minister do differently to ensure that SAPS senior management service members are fit-for-purpose‚ given the training they need and strongly held accountable to carry out their jobs effectively?

– How will he ensure equipment shortages‚ which are currently not properly captured on the SAPS system‚ are identified timeously so that replacements can be issued? In addition‚ will he proactively pursue public-private partnerships to assist in this regard?

– What measures will the minister implement to boost the Detective Services and fix the Crime Intelligence divisions?

– When will the minister start releasing the crime stats on a quarterly instead of an annual basis?

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