Managing police at provincial and national level would form part of the Ministry’s command and control approach.
“Management is not only about issuing instructions but also managing how these instructions are implemented. It does not require a station commander to manage a police station at the comfort of his laptop from home,” the minister noted.
He stressed that station commanders needed to be on the ground and in touch with communities and the Community Policing Forums.
Mthethwa also noted that communication within the police and between society and the police needed to be improved. He explained that a failure to inform communities that criminals had been arrested, could lead to anxiety and the perception that police were not ineffective.
The minister further called for all the different components of police to work together and support each other.
On the issue of a review of the criminal justice system, he said the roles of all those involved in the system – from police officers, prosecutors and correctional services - needed to be tightened.
The Ministry was also on a drive to improve policy and police systems. Mthethwa noted that intelligence was the nerve centre of the police system. It was for this reason that the Ministry had prioritised the revitalisation of the intelligence component within police.
The skills of detectives were also continually being upgraded. “This includes not only increasing the number of detectives but also the quality of those we recruit,” he added.
The minister also singled out forensics as a key priority saying detective services could not be strengthened without improving forensics.
Local and international experts were helping the Ministry to develop a plan to improve forensics in the next five years.
Police were also determined to rid society of illegal firearms. The minister said illegal firearms were used in 70 percent of aggravated robberies.
“To address this, we have adopted an approach of working with both communities and firearm owners in finding a solution to address illegal firearms. Equally we have intensified our seizure of such firearms through more focused visible policing,” he added.
The minister called on institutions such as the ISS to play a part in the fight against crime. Researchers could play a critical role in finding the reasons for particular crime trends, he said. - BuaNews