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Mall robberies: A manifestation of SA's violent nature

Minister Nhleko says he's worried about violent crime, but concedes police cannot win the battle alone.

Police Minister Nkosinathi Nhleko. Picture: Sapa.

PRETORIA - Police Minister Nkosinathi Nhleko says the recent spate of robberies at shopping malls across Gauteng is a manifestation of the violent nature of South African communities.

The minister was speaking at the South African Police Service National Commemoration Day at the Union Buildings in Pretoria on Sunday, which is held annually to pay homage to officers who have died in the line of duty in the past year.

Nhleko says he is worried about violent crime, but concedes police alone cannot win the battle against criminals.

He says he is disturbed by the spate of violent crime in the province, but adds police on their own cannot combat crime without the involvement of communities.

"You need to have a broader community engagement to begin to look at how we deal with these sorts of tendencies amongst ourselves."

The minister has refuted claims that police lack a strategy to deal with mall robberies, saying the service is looking at ways to combat crime through intelligence.

National Police Commissioner Riah Phiyega avoided questions on the matter, only saying the nation should celebrate the courage and dedication of officers who have died in the line of duty.

Nhleko also has called on ordinary members of society to submit anonymous tip-offs to police about any suspected criminal activity in their communities.

He has warned communities to stop harbouring criminals, saying it's the responsibility of every law abiding citizen to blow the whistle on crime.

The minister says police alone cannot win the battle against criminals.

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