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DA calls for real time crime stats

The South African Police Service annual report for the 2014/15 financial year has revealed that almost half of the reporting by SAPS members on their performance in responding to dispatch call-outs could not be properly verified‚ the Democratic Alliance says.

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DA spokesman on police Zakhele Mbhele said on Sunday this served as a further indication that the country’s crime statistics desperately needed to be independently scrutinised if they were to be accurate and enjoy the confidence of the South African people.

“The Auditor-General‚ in his note‚ stated that claims that the SAPS are performing – and diligently responding to complaints – are unreliable up to 48% of the time. If this is the case‚ it would mean that the SAPS is failing in its fundamental function to properly and effectively manage complaints; and that they are failing to report credibly so that the real progress made by the SAPS in the fight against crime can be tracked.

“More importantly‚ if SAPS does not have accurate stats‚ they cannot have an effective policing strategy to combat crime and ordinary South Africans – particularly the poor‚ who cannot afford private security – will bear the brunt‚” Mbhele said.

“This lack of action and credible reporting is ultimately the responsibility of the National Police Commissioner (NPC)‚ Riah Phiyega‚ whose incompetence and lack of decisive leadership have seen a decline of a SAPS whose ability to combat and report crime effectively wanes by the day‚” he added.

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Mbhele said there was a “real need for these crime statistics to be independently audited by institutions such as the Institute for Security Studies (ISS) and other independent firms to prevent those with a direct interest in inflating them from showing better performance in the SAPS when that is not the case”.

“Additionally‚ the DA proposes that South Africa requires real-time crime statistics to be publically available at every SAPS station so that localised responses to crime can be tailored appropriately and implemented timeously.

“Crime affects each and every one of us. We must fight it with all means at our disposal‚ because the people of South Africa deserve better. They should not have to live under siege in their homes‚ their cars and their communities‚” Mbhele said.

Source: RDM News Wire.

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