I am excited to announce that the 2014/15 Policing Needs and Priorities consultation process will kick off on 26 July 2014 in Worcester.
The consultation period will run between 26 July 2014 and 9 December 2014 through 25 public meetings being held across the province – one for every police cluster. The full breakdown of meetings to be held is provided in a table below.
The aim of these meetings is to identify the policing needs and priorities (PNPs) of each different community, to ensure that police remains responsive to communities. We do not believe in a one size fits all approach and the findings from the PnP meetings show that different types of resources are needed in different communities.
During these meetings, communities will have the opportunity to meet with me and the officials from the Department of Community Safety, they can meet their Community Policing Forum (CPF) and Cluster CPF Chairpersons, and most importantly they must identify, discuss and confirm the specific needs and priorities of their communities.
The key objectives of the PNP project are:
to identify policing needs and priorities in the Western Cape from a community perspective;
to influence the allocation and deployment of policing and safety resources in line with the safety needs identified; and
to guide and influence the formulation of policing priorities at Provincial and National level in respect of identified Provincial policing needs and priorities.
The PNP consultation process will culminate in the Policing Needs and Priorities 2014/15 report to be presented to my office for endorsement and consideration of the Standing Committee on Community Safety.
The Standing Committee may choose to provide the South African Police Services (SAPS) Provincial Commissioner an opportunity to respond to safety issues raised in the report before submitting it to the National Minister of Police and the MINMEC (Minister and Members of the Executive Council) to be incorporated in the SAPS Annual Performance Plan (APP).
South Africa’s Constitution is clear (Section 206(1)) that the Cabinet Minister responsible for policing must determine the national policing policy after consulting the provincial governments and taking into account the policing needs and priorities of the provinces, as determined by the provincial executives.
By compiling this report through a rigorous public participation process we are delivering on our constitutional mandate.
Government’s response to migration and crime patterns tends to be too slow, due to a rigid budgetary process which is not aligned to the release of crime statistic time-lines, and the level of dependency on annual crime statistics, which is a lagging reactive indicator, needs to be reduced in order to effectively address crime. The bottom line is that we need more regular crime statistics.
The Western Cape Government has embarked on the PnP process aimed at seeking additional sources of information about our communities’ safety needs.
In order to maximise the impact of the resources allocated to increasing safety, it remains of critical importance that those limited resources are deployed in the areas where they are most needed and when they are most needed.
The Western Cape Government’s approach also facilitates a departure from the current one-size-fits-all approach to policing, allowing for different focus areas and needs within communities, many of which are based on the lasting effects of the racial segregation policies of the past. The current system of resource allocation, which is based on uniformity guided by a single set of rules and crime statistics, are systemically weak and increasingly unable to address the specific needs existing within communities.
In 2013/14, the PNP consultation process reached all 25 police clusters and attracted more than 2 200 key stakeholders and decision makers in the field of safety and security in the province. These included: the South African Police Services (SAPS), Community Policing Fora (CPF), Neighbourhood Watches (NHW), National and Provincial Government Departments, Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), Faith-based Organisations, Business Organisations, Local Ward Councillors, Victim Support Room members, Youth formations, Municipal Managers and members of the public.
For 2014/15 we wish to repeat and improve on the previous year’s success through holistic engagements to help identify the causes, motivators and opportunities for crimes per police precinct and cluster in the province.
The Western Cape Department of Community Safety recognises that crime is a multifaceted and complex phenomenon. Different communities have different safety concerns and needs. Interventions to create safe environments and communities in which crime is less likely to occur need to take the differences into account.
Meaningful partnerships are at the heart of the Department of Community Safety’s Whole-of-Society approach to increase safety in our province. It is important that all communities use the consultation process as an opportunity to have their say on their safety concerns. Through the PNP, the Western Cape Government is committed to working Better Together in the fight against crime.
SOURCE: SOUTH AFRICAN OFFICIAL NEWS