In her speech titled “Moneyballing the criminal justice system,” Anne Milgram Criminal justice reformer talks about the power of information as being key in fighting crime. She says that smart statistics have changed baseball, healthcare, and many other industries and should be used as well as to fight crime
As Namola we agree with this sentiment 100%. South Africa has a Crime Administration System (CAS) which is a system for gathering and collating data on crime across the country. This system is linked to nearly all the 1 130+ police stations across the country.
Each time a person goes to a police station and reports an incident of crime, a docket is opened and the information about the crime is uploaded onto this electronic system. Every 24 hours, all the criminal cases opened across the 1 130+ police stations are updated on CAS.
The information is also geographically tagged so it is possible for the police to track exactly where crimes are taking place and how this pattern changes over time. For example, they also know which different types of crime are most likely to take place, and at what times of the day.
They also know a fair amount about the modus operandi of different crime types and the profiles of the likely perpetrators and victims. It is for this reason that they are able to identify crime ‘hot-spots’ which allows the police to identify crime hotspots and deploy resources accordingly.
As Namola we have the “Report Corruption” feature: please pass on detailed information so that we can forward it to the relevant law enforcement agencies to investigate.
Crime tip-offs should be directed to Crime Stop on 08600 10111.Namola provides data analytics that allows for police to identify crime hotspots and deploy resources accordingly.
It is important for people to work closely with the police by giving out relevant information that will lead to reducing the crime wave in our society.
Neighborhood Watch Don'ts
With the increase in crime rates in South Africa, safety has become important for many. Citizens are coming up with innovative ways to challenge the increased crime rates in South Africa. One of the innovative ways (apart from Namola which an app that connects you with police at the click of a button) is the increased numbers in volunteers for the neighborhood watch committees.
A neighbourhood watch or also called a crime watch or neighbourhood crime watch is an organised group of civilians devoted to crime and vandalism prevention within a neighbourhood.
Neighbourhood watch is one of the most effective ways for neighbourhoods to reduce crime in their surrounding areas. It will also assist in protecting property, reducing car break-ins and house burglary. An effective Neighbourhood watch helps in regaining areas from criminals.
Working in conjunction with our local police services and armed response organisations, crime watch has formed formidable teams against criminals.
The aims of neighbourhood watch include educating residents of a community on security and safety and achieving safe and secure neighbourhoods. However, the misconception with most neighbourhood watch teams has been the response to criminal activity.
Being a neighborhood watch committee member does not mean one is given the rights and responsibilities to act like police officers. Neighborhood watch members are supposed to work with the police officers.
And these are some of the don'ts that govern crime watch committees that should be followed so that citizens do not put their lives at risk
When a criminal activity is suspected, members are encouraged to report to authorities, and not to intervene. Intervening places civilians in danger
Crime watch is discouraged from approaching suspicious people within their neighbour. Namola advises that they can contact the police, record number plates if the suspicious individuals are using a car.
If Crime Watch witnesses a crime taking place, they should alert the police immediately. Intervening might place you in harm's way
Don't take the law into your own hands. Vigilantism is a serious offence that might lend one in jail. Taking law into your own hands might have repercussions. And lastly, we urge citizens of South Africa not to take unnecessary risks trying to obtain information on suspicious people or crimes. No one should be killed or injured.
Is safety out of reach for those below the poverty datum line?
Safety in South Africa has become one of the scarcest commodities and it seems that the cost of safety has doubled in price for “anyone interested in being safe.”
Both public and private sector are trying find solutions and reasons for the upsurge in crime. However, government seems to be lagging behind in providing solutions.
In the Presidency's 2017-2018 budget vote speech President Jacob Zuma agreed that the ongoing brutal attacks and killings of women and children in some parts of the country were curtailing people’s right to safety.
By definition rights are entitlements that one has by virtue of being born,in which the state has a mandate to promote and protect rights of its citizens. However access to these rights in South Africa has come at a cost.
From self defense classes, pepperspray sales, chauffeur driven services, alarm systems and security companies, concrete houses the list goes on and on. All of the solutions being provided seem to cost the victims more. Which then makes me ask the questions:
Has safety become elitist?
Has safety become a privilege reserved exclusively for the rich?'
How much does safety cost?
Is safety a luxury for the rich?
Questions might be similar, but all lead to a simple question, can the ordinary citizen earning the stipulated R3,500 per month, or R20 per hour minimum wage afford to be safe?
picture courtesy of http://www.kevburns.com/blog/bid/383056/How-To-Make-Money-From-Safety
Safety and Women in South Africa
Personal safety has become an important issue for everyone especially women. In the recent weeks South Africa has seen an upsurge of femicide. Women are being targeted, both in their private and public spaces.
The modus operandi of the criminals in regards to women seems to have shifted. crime in South Africa has become more brutal and violent against women.
Perpetrators are indicted for more than one charge. Kidnapping, rape or murder are no longer charged or committed solely. Multiple indictments are the new order of the day.
While political parties have blamed the femicide on the historical nature of the country.
Academics have attributed a lot of reasons to why the country seems to have taken this turn. From linking unemployment, poverty and crime,men’s identity in contemporary South Africa to patriarchy and ownership of women’s bodies by men.
The media is filled with graphic stories of citizens being raped, shot, kidnapped, hijacked and murdered. Examples of these stories are
22-year-old Karabo Mokoena who was recently reported missing after she went on a date with her boyfriend. Her charred body was found in a veld.
Qondile Mhlanga, 21, went missing from Kamdladla near Tonga in Mpumalanga in April. Her decomposed body was found covered with tree branches and dumped in a dam a week later.
The body of 28-year-old Bongeka Phungula, a graduate from the Durban University of Technology, was found in a dump site in Tladi with gunshot wounds to her head.
Popi Qwabe, 24, from Zola 2 in Soweto, was also found killed on the same day. Both had also been raped, police said.
Earlier this week, Thembisile Yende, reported missing two weeks ago, was found dead in an office at Eskom where she worked with bruises on her neck.
The body of Stellenbosch University student Hannah Cornelius was found after she was hijacked and abducted. She was also raped.
These are just but a few of the cases that have made it to the media. Some are still unreported, while some have gone unresolved. Has South Africa turned on its women? Is South Africa now a “State of terror.”