DA questions Gauteng festive season crime figures

John Moodey MPL

DA Gauteng Provincial Leader

The arrest of more than 45 000 people in Gauteng since September last year is not a sufficient indicator of success in the battle against festive season crime in the province.

The DA in Gauteng applauds the efforts of police officers in the festive season crime fighting campaign “Operation Duty Calls”, but questions remain over the broader impact and success of the campaign.

The number of people arrested reflects the efforts and ability of police to hunt down criminals, but the absence of statistics on the number of crimes reported is concerning.

Without reliable and up-to-date figures for crimes committed and reported in Gauteng for the duration of the campaign, we cannot effectively assess the ability of police to detect and prevent crime before it happens.

The DA challenges Provincial Police Commissioner Mzwandile Petros to make statistics public for the number and nature of crimes reported at Gauteng police stations for the festive season periods of 2011/12 and 2012/13.

Only comprehensive information such as this would serve to reassure the people of Gauteng that our provincial police are indeed turning the tide and winning the war against crime. Arrest rates do not indicate the effectiveness of anti-crime strategies and visible policing.

We also need a detailed breakdown of the number of arrests during this period for serious crimes committed before the festive season, i.e. the number of “wanted” criminals apprehended. We must also be given a detailed breakdown of arrest by type of crime committed, as the success rate for petty crimes, property-related crimes, and contact crimes provide more detailed and accurate indicators of police effectiveness.

The Provincial Police Commissioner should not hesitate to make this information available to demonstrate that those living in Gauteng are safe and can feel safe in their homes, in shops and on the streets of the province.

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