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‘Society will be unsafe with fewer police officers’

The minister is hosting a two day conference to find solutions to the scourge of crime and violence.

FILE: Police Minister Nkosinathi Nhleko. Picture: GCIS.

JOHANNESBURG - Police Minister Nkosinathi Nhleko has warned against police killings saying society will be unsafe with fewer officers.

The minister is hosting a two day conference to find solutions to the scourge of crime and violence in the country.

He says the objective of the dialogue is to engage with the men and women in blue, to try and find solutions to fight crime.

The minister says contact crimes are the highest reported crimes and are concerning because it perpetuates the fear of living in South Africa.

Nhleko also says police killings are a matter of national importance.

"We can't afflict pain onto ourselves, as society because the only institution that is there to guarantee our peace and bring about stability in our daily community lives is nothing else but the police."

Industry experts, police officers and analysts are attending the conference, hoping to formulate strategies to curb crime.

Nhleko says the department is in the process of putting together measures to try and prevent police killings.

He says the killings speak to the violent nature of today's society.

"The question of police killings is largely a societal problem. It's not just simply police that are going to resolve it. We need to resolve the psyche in our society, that wants to believe that it is correct or a good things to kill a policeman."

Nhleko says it shouldn't just be up to unions and the department to raise awareness around police killings, but members of the public should also stand behind the men and women in blue.