'Consider other factors in fight against crime'

Committee chairperson Francois Beukman says the role of community-based safety groups is vital.

FILE: SA Police Service members. Picture: SAPS.

JOHANNESBURG - The police portfolio committee says officer numbers is not the only factor to consider in the fight against crime.

Various safety groups have raised concern over the SAPS' annual performance plan which could see a decrease in police personnel due to a National Treasury directive.

Committee chairperson Francois Beukman says there's also the need to look at “smart policing”.

“Policing is not only about numbers, it’s also about acknowledging implementation, the using of reserves and there is a recruiting strategy underway."

Beukman adds the role of community-based safety groups is vital.

“They are supplementary, you will never have a situation where you have enough police patrolling streets, but if you can involve a community in such a way that they are part of the team that addresses concerns of safety in the community, you can actually increase your ability to deal with crime. So, what we’re saying is that it must be a multi-plan approach.”