2000

UNITED DEMOCRATIC MOVEMENT

MEDIA RELEASE


POLICE ARE INDEED SHORT STAFFED: TSHWETE

MEDIA RELEASE ISSUED BY ANNELIZÉ VAN WYK, MP
UDM SPOKESPERSON ON SAFETY AND SECURITY

The UDM welcomes the realisation by Minster Tshwete that the police are indeed short staffed in the face of the enormous challenge of crime prevention that faces our nation. This represents a watershed in thinking and insights for the government that until now has preached the need for a smaller police force to combat a growing crime wave.

We do however believe that the minister has only started to understand the need for more police officers. The UDM still advocates as per our election manifesto an increase of 42 000 police constables to ensure visible and effective policing and crime prevention.

It is unbelievable that in the area of safety and security which is one of the basic constitutionally obligated responsibilities of government, that the private sector employs thousands of guards and spends billions of Rands. Equally concerning is that this private industry is largely unregulated and uncontrolled.

The Minister's admission of a shortage of staff also reflects on Commissioner Selebi's insistence that communities in Johannesburg cannot pay reservists as their own bobbies-on-the-beat. Clearly, these communities are committed to the fight against crime, have realised the shortage of police officers, and are willing to pay from their own pockets, in spite of having to pay taxes to Government to maintain a Police Force.

We call on Minister Tshwete to act on his admission, and appoint more police officers since that is the only long term solution to crime, whilst anti-crime blitzes are impressive such actions will at most only encourage criminals to move to new areas and target new victims.


Enquiry:
Annelizé van Wyk
UDM Spokesperson on Safety and Security


Cape Town
12 April 2000