KwaZulu-Natal police have been given 20 days to come up with plans on how to deal with crime in the province.
Addressing SAPS management in Durban on Thursday‚ provincial community safety MEC Mxolisi Kaunda said that township and rural areas bore the brunt of serious and violent crimes‚ with a “dramatic and sustained” increase in murder and other crimes being reported in the Inanda‚ KwaMashu‚ Phoenix and Umlazi areas of Durban.
“The question is: what are the tangible plans we have to reduce these alarming levels of crimes and the perceived laxity [of police]? This situation needs urgent and radical attention. We need to account to our people what we are doing to protect their lives. It certainly cannot be business as usual.
“My humble request to you is that we go back to our areas of operation‚ identify problems and‚ in 20 working days‚ let us come up with tangible plans with clear timelines on how we propose to deal with the situation‚” said Kaunda.
Statistics released last week showed that murder‚ attempted murder‚ robbery with aggravating circumstances‚ car-jacking and residential robberies all increased from 2015 levels.
Kaunda also criticised police for slow reaction times to incidents.
Making reference to incidents last year where protesters set fire to buildings in the uMshwati area in the KZN Midlands‚ he said: “Indications are that police were informed long before the incident happened. Nothing was done and the police only reacted when the property was destroyed.”
Police management acknowledged the concerns‚ and said the report-back will be done within the MEC’s stipulated timeframe.