‘Battle against crime can only be won if we all work together, side by side’

He addressed journalists at a lodge in Komatipoti on Monday morning.

The only possible way to fight and win the battle against crime is when communities and law enforcement agencies work together, the MEC has said.

Pat Ngomane spoke during a media briefing on Mpumalanga’s 2017 crime statistics at the Komati Lodge, outside Mbombela and said there was nothing to celebrate as levels have risen, especially in incidents where people in the province are concerned.

“It still remains a concern that during the financial year 2016/2017, the statistics indicated an increase of about 1,4 % of crimes reported,” the Safety and Security MEC said.

“These numbers, while they are somewhat scary, they all mean that police are doing their work and also community members are reporting crime.

“Communities can only report crime if they believe that the police have a capacity to solve these crime cases,” Ngomane said.

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Ngomane came to the briefing with Mpumalanga police boss Lieutenant General Mondli Zuma, the head of the Safety and Security provincial department William Mthombothi, Provincial Commissioner, Police Forum Board chairman Kevin Pillay, cops, SANDF members, and home affairs and SARS authorities.

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He told journalists that the crime stats press briefing at the Komati lodge was not just about crime statistics but about accountability to the victims of murder, rape, hijacking, robbery and other crimes.

“This is what matters the most,” he said.

“We must not see these statistics just as pure numbers, behind the numbers are real feelings, real lives, real hurt, real harm, real losses, deaths, feelings of unsafety. These statistics represent the memory of that gruesome rape or murder, the fearful home invasion and loss of property” – Police Minister Fikile Mbalula

Ngomane said they agree with police minister Fikile Mbalula who said behind the stats are real human beings and not just numbers “but the reality of much untold suffering that many families and individuals have gone through”.

“Although some categories have shown a decline in terms of numbers and percentages, the numbers remain fairly high,” he said.

“It means we still have a long way to go. It must be emphasised that the fight against crime remains not only the responsibility of government but community members as well. Crime can only be won when we all work together, side by side with our communities and our security agencies,” he said.

(edited by MLM)

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