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On course to meet priority targets: Safety and security

Written by Mbulelo Baloyi

2011 Year of Performance

As was indicated at the annual release of crime statistics in early September, the fight against crime is showing positive results. There was a 5,75 per cent reduction for serious crimes in 2011 compared to the same period of 2010.

Recent crime statistics indicate that there was a 5 per cent drop in serious crimes and people are generally feeling safer.As was indicated at the annual release of crime statistics in early September, the fight against crime is showing positive results. There was a 5,75 per cent reduction for serious crimes in 2011 compared to the same period of 2010.

In addition, a survey by the Government Communication and Information System (GCIS) indicated that South Africans were feeling safer. The survey found that the number of respondents who see crime as a major challenge is gradually going down. Currently, the number of respondents who view crime as a major challenge in South Africa has gone down from 33 per cent to 25 per cent.

A 9,65 per cent reduction was achieved for contact crimes in 2011 compared to the same period in 2010. Close to 55 000 arrests were made.

During the present financial year, the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development in collaboration with the Department of Correctional Services introduced the first phase of the remand video system, which concentrated on the high volume of correctional centres and associated courts. Video remand uses videoconferencing for routine bail and remand hearings without the suspects having to leave their place of detention.

So far, 47 courts and 22 correctional centres have been equipped with the video remand system. Of the 47 courts, 17 are already operational. By the end of September 2011, 27 courts were using the system. Of the 22 correctional centres, 10 are operational.

The Department of Correctional Services has also started to introduce new generation mother and child facilities: The department is relocating women offenders with babies in correctional centres to new-generation mother and child facilities with more suitable environments for child development. Such facilities have been opened in Cape Town and Durban. Similar facilities in other centres will soon follow.

The Department of Justice and Constitutional Development has successfully implemented Phase One of the National Register of Sex Offenders. This register is intended to protect children and the mentally disabled from those who have been convicted of sexual offences.

All court orders that relate to convictions of this crime under the new Sexual Offences Act continue to be captured in the register. There has been an increase in the number of sex offenders registered from 1 202 to 1 612 until August this year.