05/06/2018 15:48 SAST | Updated 05/06/2018 15:48 SAST

Status Update: 4 Priority Crimes That SAPS Need To Focus On Urgently

Crime expert Johan Burger said the police are in a position where they have to crack down on internal issues and crime at the same time.

Police minister Bheki Cele.
Police minister Bheki Cele.

The South African Police Service will have to urgently focus on its internal issues if it is to effectively tackle priority crimes around the country.

This according to crime researcher Johan Burger, who said in an interview with HuffPost that the police service has to simultaneously clean up criminal elements and management issues within its own ranks while dealing with priority crimes in the country.

News24 reported that police minister Bheki Cele on Monday said the department would introduce a high-density stabilisation intervention, increasing visibility of uniformed police officers and hunting down wanted suspects in crimes including cash-in-transit heists, hijackings, murders, house robberies and gang violence.

READ: Bheki Cele Tells Crime Intelligence To Focus On Cash-In-Transit Heists, Taxi Violence.

Burger said an internal and external approach is required to combat crime.

Internally, according to Burger, Cele needs to fix the damage wrought by former senior leaders in the police, Hawks and Crime Intelligence. He said officers in key positions who have a lack of expertise and who face their own criminal allegations need to be rooted out.

Externally, Burger said the police will have to crack down on crime threats like aggravated robbery, taxi violence, political killings and gang violence.

"Aggravated robbery, which includes cash-in-transit heists, carjackings, house robberies and business robberies have increased by 40 percent in the past five years. This will have to include combating organised crime syndicates," Burger said.

"The first part of [Cele's] plan deals with a geographical approach to crime, with high-density policing in affected areas. Along with aggravated robbery, [Cele's] plan also focuses three other priority crimes like taxi violence and political killings, especially in KwaZulu-Natal and gang violence in the Western Cape."