The Hanns Seidel Foundation Partner Team in the Justice and Violence Prevention program (JVP) had arranged the seminar and invited representatives from the South African Police Service and the Social Justice Coalition to join ISS experts on the panel. JVP experts regularly provide analysis of crime stats in the media as well. The JVP "Crime Hub", a free, dedicated, interactive online platform, provides current information, crime statistics and analysis - it represents the most comprehensive resource on this topic in South Africa and is widely used by stakeholders from different sectors.
While the hard lockdown led to a short term reduction in nearly all crime categories, numbers increased immediately once the restrictions were lifted. The socio-economic impact of the pandemic and related crises is likely to see an increase in the levels of violence and crime in the long term. Murder skyrocketed in the first quarter of 2021. A "winner of the pandemic" was Organised Crime which adapted quickly and found lots of new opportunities, e.g. with the bans on alcohol and cigarettes. While police resources were drawn to enforce lockdown regulations as well, criminal networks could freely set up new structures.
Ntebaleng Morake from the Social Justice Coalition provided insightful perspectives on the relation between police and communities in Khayelitsha.
Her contribution highlighted the issues of trust and visibility leading inter alia to an increase in violence, vigilantism and underreporting of crime.
Khayelitsha, the biggest Township in Cape Town, has been an area of high crime numbers for many years.
Major General Annandale from the South African Police Service (SAPS) gave an overview on policing plans and strategies to deal with emerging crime.
His input also included an enforcement report on regulations of the Disaster Management Act.
Thanks to the great speakers and chair the seminar sparked lively discussions. They are meant to be continued in a series of policing seminars the ISS will hold in the near future.
You can watch the recording of the event here: