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ISS: To reduce violent & organised crimes, police must be intelligence-driven

The institute's head of justice and violence prevention, Gareth Newham, said that there were various factors that drove murder and other crimes but the root of it was that people had normalised violence in South Africa.

Police car/van. Picture: @SAPoliceService/Twitter.

CAPE TOWN - The Institute for Security Studies (ISS) said that police work must be driven by intelligence if violent and organised crime were to be reduced.

The institute's head of justice and violence prevention, Gareth Newham, said that there were various factors that drove murder and other crimes but the root of it was that people had normalised violence in South Africa.

"In some areas, the issues that's driving murder when we're talking about gang violence would be gang violence, the people are fighting for turf and that can be the same for taxi violence... different taxi associations start getting into conflict."

He said that more officers on the ground could help combat crime but it could also cause problems.

Newham said that between 2002 and 2012 there were an additional 68,000 posts in the SAPS, but training was reduced from two years to one year.

"We pushed through lots of people and didn't give them effective training, didn't provide the necessary management factors with that large influx of officers. When you have police officers that are not properly trained, not properly managed, not working to a clear strategy, no matter how many you have, they're not going to be effective. It's not about the number of police officers you have, it's about how well they're trained and about how professional they are."

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