STUDY IN CHINA

Sunday, October 4, 2015

South Africa has taken over from Nigeria as the drug hub of Africa

The belief that police could single-handedly reduce the murder rate in the country was "essentially a hallucination", he said. File photoImage by: Supplied


Released yesterday, the 2014-2015 statistics show dramatic increases in truck hijackings (up 29.1% on the previous year) and car hijackings (up 14.2%). Drug-related crime increased by 2.4%.

These crimes, explained Unisa criminology professor Anthony Minnaar, are associated with organised crime.

"A recent UN report on organised crime stated that South Africa has become a hub and is providing the rest of Africa with organised crime's stolen goods," said Minnaar, adding that Lagos was once organised crime's city of choice.

The reason for crime flourishing was the failure of SA Police Service intelligence to infiltrate criminal networks and arrest their leaders.

A Gauteng flying squad commander said those behind crimes, especially truck hijackings, were highly organised.

"They have command structures and payroll masters, teams responsible for the organising of weapons, vehicles and equipment needed for the attacks, and structures solely responsible for arranging buyers for either the truck or the cargo."

He said criminal gangs were running circles around the police, exploiting loopholes in the intelligence community.

"They have better intelligence than we do and use their resources far better than we do, exploiting our weaknesses for their gains," the commander, who did not want to be named, said.

Gareth Newham of the Institute for Security Studies said the disarray of police management, a dysfunctional crime intelligence service and a lack of proper crime-prevention plans was helping organised crime.

"The plans that should be in place are not there. Resources that are meant to be provided to deal with organised crime are not there. The longer the situation remains as it is the more organised and more violent crime will grow."

The crime statistics, released to parliament's portfolio committee on police, show that serious and violent crimes have increased for the third consecutive year.

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