- The government of South Africa is still concerned by the levels of increased crime of robbery despite signs of decline general contact crime in the country.
"The four areas as reflected in the statistics report with which we are particularly unhappy are: robbery with aggravated circumstances, sexual offences, stock theft and commercial crime," said Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa today following the release of the crime statistics in the country.
He said the four areas were dampening the achievements reached in fighting the overall crime in South Africa.
"Government is unshakeable in its resolve to fight crime. In areas where there have been positive in-roads, we will continue to work hard and smart to entrench these successes. Accordingly, in areas where there have been some increases in crime, we shall work together to find solutions," he said.
The South African Police Service's crime statistics covers for the period 1 April 2008 to 31 March 2009.
"In assessing aggravated robberies, there are three areas which account for the increase. These areas are business robberies, house robberies and hijackings. Of the three areas mentioned, the highest increase was recorded in the area of business robberies," he said.
The figure show that business robbery cases increased by 41.5 percent when compared to the previous year, house robberies increased by 27.3 percent while truck and car hijackings increased by 15.4 percent and 5 percent respectively.
The minister also said another area that requires government's attention is the increase in commercial crime which shows 16 percent increase. "Of further concern is that this increase is accompanied by an increase in the amount of money involved. Clearly this is an area that requires more focused attention by both business and government," he said.
Highlighting some of these measures to be employed, minister Mthetswa said a more concerted focus would be taken on the role that intelligence can play in supporting the approach to crime.
"We have recognised that intelligence should act as a nerve centre and has a crucial role to play in all aspects of policing. We are currently revitalising our intelligence component. Part of this revitalisation includes ensuring the integration of intelligence into all aspects of policing," he said, while also adding that government has focused attention on the revamping of the criminal justice system.
"Police alone cannot win the fight against crime. We therefore need to deepen our partnership with communities. In this regard, the Ministry has established a dedicated unit to focus on deepening the interaction with communities, civil society, business, faith-based organisations and the different spheres of government," he said.
He also mentioned that as part of management and control of some of the borders, where there is a major challenge, cabinet has recently agreed that, at least until 2010, the national defence forces will be re-engaged in securing the borderlines and in especially curbing cross-border crime, including stock-theft.
The South African government is putting all efforts to break crime, especially contact crime ahead of the 2010 World Cup event that the country is hosting in June next year.
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