2006-10-14 : Nqakula urges public to help police

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2006-10-14 : Nqakula urges public to help police

Postby GOSA » Wed, 2006-10-18 14:08

Cape Argus
Weekend Argus

Nqakula urges public to help police

October 14, 2006 Edition 1

Criminals were exploiting South Africa's liberation for their own gain and therefore the battle to curb crime needs full community participation, like the liberation struggle, safety and security minister Charles Nqakula said yesterday.

"Our liberation, as the case has been in other parts of the world, created spaces that have been exploited by wrongdoers," he said in an article on the ANC website.

Freedom of movement had allowed criminals to travel freely into and across the country. They committed crimes across the provinces.

The ANC in past discussions, especially those of 1992, had opted to centralise communities in the fight against crime.

Community policing had been recognised as more effective because it understood it was not the police alone who combated and prevented crime, he said.

The community was largely responsible for criminal prosecutions - laying charges, making statements, testifying in court and assisting the police in performing their functions.

Without this co-operation, no police force could discharge its duties.

"We believed then, and still believe now, that crime prevention and combating is a joint project between the police and the people," Nqakula said.

This principle was often applied, with the police were working side-by-side with the people as crime-fighters.

"But, we need more people to do this so that we can flush out of our areas the criminals that have been preying on our innocent people, especially vulnerable communities," he said.

It was crucial for law-abiding citizens to note the high rate of crime among people who knew one another in the social environment where they lived.

For instance, during the 2005/06 financial year, 81.5% of the 18 528 murders were committed by perpetrators who were known to the victim.

So were the attempted murders (59.4%), rapes (75.9%), and serious assaults (89.1%).

Many of those crimes were committed while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

"In the communities where we live we know who sells the liquor and the drugs.

"We know that those substances are sold to our children as well, who in turn, become addicted to them. And we keep quiet.

"Let us revive all our old structures and deal with crime, together with the police, where we live. Let us design campaigns to deal with crime. Let us be members of, or give support to, the CPFs 1/8community policing forums 3/8.

"But, whatever we do, we must be part of crime-fighting in our country as people who love peace and stability and as law abiding citizens," Nqakula said. - Sapa
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