The Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (POPCRU) welcomes the latest crime statistics released by the Minister of Police, and is of the view that they are more of a social problem reflection that a police problem.

Police are often put to the front and usually take the blame for the increase in criminal activities, while consideration is not fully made regarding the role we all need to collectively play with communities, business and government departments, among others, in taking necessary measures to prevent crime.

We are of the view that the outcomes of these statistics should not be approached in an abstract manner, but should result in a cohesive approach that would ensure all role players form part of finding long-term solutions to the worrying trends we have witnessed over the years.

We equally welcome the proposed move to release crime statistics on a quarterly basis as they would swiftly indicate areas of potential increases on a regular basis, and by that prompting a speedy response in curbing any potential increases.

A greater portion of the prison population in our country is increasingly youth, therefore reflecting the many social frustrations like unemployment, drug and substance abuse, all of which have been identified as part of the causal factors for aggressive crimes such as armed robbery, house break-ins, theft and murder.

Criminals stay within our communities, and we therefore appeal with communities and the business community to work closely with police in exposing such elements, and in further working jointly in reflecting on and confronting these social challenges we face within our communities as crime is usually a remnant of the very social challenges.

Issued by POPCRU 02/09/2016

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