Statement on the release of South African Crime Statistics 2017/2018

The ANC has noted the release of the Crime Statistics for 2017/2018 reporting period.

The National Development Plan’s Outcome 3 states that: “In 2030, all people living in South Africa feel safe, have no fear of crime, are properly served by the police and courts, and know corruption no longer eats away at their livelihoods.”

The ANC is cognisant of the reality that behind the statistics are real feelings and real lives. They represent the memory of that gruesome rape or murder, the fearful home invasion and loss of property.

We call upon all organs of civil society to become partners in tackling crime and making our communities safe. The grim picture conveyed by these statistics must spur all of us into action and all law enforcement agencies must redouble their efforts in arrest this scourge.

The broad categories of criminal trends over the last ten years have been reducing, accounting for a 4.4% decrease in general crime. Such a decrease is merely a drop in the ocean and does nothing to make people feel safer in their communities. Crime is a cancer that eats away at the fibre of society which must be eradicated through collective action. While we acknowledge that notable decline has been recorded in a number of instances, such as property related crime down by 6% and serious crime down by 6%, the overall picture remains one of serious concern.

The continued increase in gender-based violence should have all of us hanging our heads in shame. What makes this category of crime despicable is that its victims are women who remain vulnerable members of our society. We all have a duty to protect our young girls and women at all costs, yet we repeatedly fail them. Gender based violence is an indictment on our nation and society must rise in unison and declare that “enough is enough”.

The war against crime is not the exclusive responsibility of the police, but of every single member of society. Those who commit crimes are members of our communities. They are our neighbours, our friends, our siblings, our spouses, yet we choose to be complicit in their crimes by being silent. Failure to report a crime makes one an accomplice and an enabler of criminal conduct. If we are to succeed in our fight against crime, behaviour in our communities must change. It starts with an individual who must refuse to remain silent, while others get maimed, killed and their livelihoods destroyed.

Our law enforcement agencies must similarly rise to the occasion and find new and innovative ways to combat crime and violence.

We cannot use the same tactics to fight old problems.

We are on record as having called for the resourcing and strengthening of specialised police units to break the stranglehold of criminals.

The ANC believes that the prevention of crime is not the responsibility of the South African Police Service alone. It requires a multi-sectoral approach.

In this regard, we call upon all stakeholders to join hands with the South African Police Service in the national effort to create a safer and secure South Africa. We urge all our people to assist the police to prevent and combat crime by, among other things, refraining from buying stolen goods, reporting crime and exposing criminals within their homes and communities.

The ANC believes that only a sustained effort by all sectors of society will help us win the war against crime.

Issued by the African National Congress

Enquiries:

Pule Mabe
National Spokesperson
071 623 4975

Posted in Media Statements
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