'More cops can wipe out crime'

Eric Naki

The Democratic Alliance has come up with a five-step anti-crime plan aimed at protecting the rights of crime victims.

A special fund will be set up for the purpose of helping victims recover from trauma. The party also vowed to increase the number of detectives to ensure crime "was wiped out" and that all cases were thoroughly investigated.

Party leader Helen Zille said the DA would increase the government's target of 190000 police officers to 250000. In addition to this the party would employ a further 30000 detectives.

She said police officers would be employed purely on the basis of competence, and not on a quota system. The DA would ensure that top level political appointments in the SAPS were halted and that convicted police officers instantly were dismissed.

"First, we must as far as possible stop crime before it happens. The more competent and trained the police officers we have on the streets, the better we will be able to prevent crime."

Improvement in crime prevention will be enhanced by the latest technology and a determined effort will be made to reduce backlogs at the forensic science laboratories, Zille said.

"Crime hot spots will be saturated with police and these officers will be given additional resources and training."

James Selfe, the DA's spokesman on correctional services, said under the five-step plan private sector skills would be brought in to improve the court process.

Some of the courts would work 24 hours a day, he said.

"The DA will ensure that all able-bodied prisoners work and that the derived income will go towards the cost of running the prisons and the fund for victims of crime."