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7,000 police trainees enlisted, Hammanskraal to get its own crime university

In his fourth Sona, Cyril Ramaphosa announced that a Crime Detection University would be established in Hammanskraal to 'improve the quality of general and specialised police investigations'.

A police trainees salute as the South African flag is raised during a graduation parade. Picture: SAPS

JOHANNESBURG – President Cyril Ramaphosa on Thursday announced that 7,000 new police trainees were enlisted this year to strengthen local policing.

The president touched on plans for combating crime during his delayed fourth State of the Nation Address in Parliament on Thursday.

He also announced that a Crime Detection University would be established in Hammanskraal to “improve the quality of general and specialised police investigations.” He, however, did not provide any further details on this plan.

He said: “I have prioritised our response to the growing problem of criminal groups that extort money from construction and other businesses. Specialised units – bringing together SAPS and the National Prosecuting Authority – are mandated to combat these crimes of economic disruption."

He told the country a reserve police capacity to focus on the policing of tourist attraction areas would be established, but he did not mention exactly when.

“Anti-Gang Units will be further strengthened, with priority given to the Western Cape, Eastern Cape, Gauteng and Free State.”

He said police visibility, effective training and availing resources for the police service were key priorities for government.

In December, Police Minister Bheki Cele painted a bleak picture on South Africa's war on crime, saying before the presentation in Parliament that the statistics were "not very rosy".

According to the statistics then, 21,022 murders were recorded for the 2018/2019 financial year. The figure was 686 more than the previous year.

Sexual offences increased by 4.6%, attempted murder jumped by 4.1%, robberies at residential properties increased by 0.8% while there was a decrease in drug-related crimes.