Help SAPS fight crime

In some sections of the media, the headlines sum it up: rape, murder, indecent assault, armed robbery, hijacking suspects released because of insufficient evidence and so on.

In some sections of the media, the headlines sum it up: rape, murder, indecent assault, armed robbery, hijacking suspects released because of insufficient evidence and so on.

People witness these crimes being committed but for reasons best known to themselves, they simply do not come forward.

The irony of this is that the victim is someone's father, mother, brother, sister, cousin, aunt - who is totally innocent but suffers the indignity of being brutally violated.

The fact is, the criminals are known and live comfortably among us.

Successful prosecution of cases - whether serious or petty - in court depends and relies mainly on the evidence provided by witnesses. Individuals who volunteer information not only help to eradicate crime but enable the SAPS to provide a safe and secure environment for all.

The crime statistics released recently give details of the crime situation. More than 70percent of murders committed occur between people known to each other.

Yet when key witnesses are being sought by the police to testify, they are nowhere to be found.

The publication of the statistics is an opportunity to engage in informed discussions on how to take the fight against crime forward and strengthen the partnership of all society.

Working together can bring crime levels down and send a clear message that crime does not pay. This is where people can play an important role in eradicating crime.

Strong partnerships with our communities are needed. The SAPS is transparent and accountable and tries at all times to protect its witnesses.

In some instances, extraordinary measures are taken to protect these witnesses to secure successful prosecution. Only credible, reliable and concise information is acceptable in court.

The SAPS would like to urge law-abiding community members to join crime-fighting structures such as their local street committees and Community Policing Forums (CPFs). There are 1112 CPFs in South Africa.

Captain Percy Morokane,National spokesman,SAPS, Pretoria

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