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Police committee ponders bolstering police resources in rural areas

The South African Police Service's Rural Safety Plan aims to bolster effective and efficient policing in rural areas as well as provide community safety awareness.

FILE: Specialised units like the Flying Squad, Tactical Response Team (TRT) and Public Order Police (POP) prepare themselves for official deployment by Police Minister Bheki Cele. Picture: Thomas Holder/EWN

CAPE TOWN - Parliament’s police portfolio committee is set to assess whether police resources in rural areas should be bolstered.

On Wednesday, the committee will meet with agricultural organisations as well as Congress of South African Trade Unions to assess how the latest crime statistics align with the police's rural safety strategy.

Police Minister Bheki Cele earlier this year announced more than 20,000 people have been killed during the period under review.

The South African Police Service's Rural Safety Plan aims to bolster effective and efficient policing in rural areas as well as provide community safety awareness.

Between April 2017 until March 2018, Gauteng topped the list of provinces with the highest number of farm murders, followed by Limpopo, Mpumalanga, Limpopo and the Free State.

Committee chairperson Francois Beukman says Wednesday's meeting will focus on violent crimes in rural areas.

“It's important that the resources of the SA Police Service must be able to respond to emerging trends.”

South Africa's murder rate spiked by 6.9% over the last year.

National chairman of the African Farmers Association of South Africa Neo Masithela says the association will attend the public hearing to advocate for safer surroundings for farming communities.

“Our contribution in the economy of this country is immense and, therefore, if criminal activities taking place in the farm have not been curtailed, we would have a problem.”
During the period under review, 20,336 people were killed which equates to 57 people dying every day.

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