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UNITED DEMOCRATIC MOVEMENT

MEDIA RELEASE

CRIME STATISTICS FOR PRETORIA CONFIRMED – TIME TO END THIS COUNTER-PRODUCTIVE MORATORIUM

STATEMENT ISSUED BY ANNELIZÉ VAN WYK, MP
UDM SPOKESPERSON FOR SAFETY AND SECURITY

The confirmation by SAPS Head of Statistics, Chris de Kock, that the leaked crime statistics for Pretoria are correct, should come as a final warning to the Minister regarding the ill-fated moratorium on these statistics. It is disturbing that the person directly responsible for the management of statistics should make this admission directly after National Police Spokesperson, Selby Bokaba, reportedly claimed the leaked statistics were inaccurate. This sort of behaviour only confirms suspicions that the primary motive for the moratorium is to conceal government’s failure to address crime.

The claims that this moratorium is necessary to improve the SAPS crime information system, raises two serious concerns.

Firstly, the danger exists that once the moratorium is lifted SAPS will be subjected to political pressure to produce figures that shows that Operation Crackdown, Minister Tshwete’s main strategy, was a huge success. Even if the facts do not support such a claim. The Minister’s recent ramblings in Parliament listing various "successes" in the fight against crime clearly indicate government’s overweening optimism. Would officials be allowed to release statistics in four month’s time that contradict their Minister’s repeated statements in recent times?

Secondly, the Budget is presented to Parliament today. As can be expected, expenditure on crime fighting will get a large slice of the cake. Exactly how was the SAPS budget allocation arrived at, if not through crime statistics? These statistics are good enough for government’s use in determining the spending of billions of rands. Surely then, these statistics are good enough for public use.

The UDM, as much as anybody else, wants crime to be reduced. However, we urge the Minister to reconsider the moratorium, lest the statistics for Pretoria reflect the national situation. The Minister regularly complains that the fight against crime requires cooperation between the authorities and the public; ironically this moratorium abuses the trust of the public. Furthermore, it damages SAPS credibility and explains why there continues to be such a huge gap between the police and the community they have to protect.

Enquiries:
Annelizé van Wyk, MP
UDM Spokesperson for Safety and Security

Cape Town
21 February 2001

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