Johannesburg - Involvement of police officers in criminal activities is cause for concern in Gauteng, premier Nomvula Mokonyane said on Friday.
Releasing the 2012/13 provincial crime statistics in Johannesburg, Mokonyane said a number of law enforcement officers were evidently involved in crime.
“A worrisome statistic shows that 18 out of 50 provincial policing precincts were reported as crime-infested dens that recorded police collusion and outright corruption,” she said.
“The Johannesburg central police precinct tops the list with approximately 13 000 criminal cases that were perpetrated by officers in uniform.”
She also revealed that vehicle hijackings in Gauteng had risen in the past financial year.
“Vehicle hijackings have increased by two percent,” Mokonyane told reporters.
She said the country’s most populous province had intensified efforts to counter the hijackings.
“Officers have now shifted focus from vehicle and driver fitness only, but have also included apprehending criminals that use road networks to escape from scenes of crime.”
Increases were also recorded in stock theft, which rose by 5.1 percent.
Robberies at residential premises had also gone up by 3.6 percent.
Mokonyane said robberies at business premises, murder, and motor vehicle theft had diminished in the province. Sexual offences had also declined by 10 percent.
She remained upbeat that crime was under control in Gauteng.
“What is heartening is that the apprehension of (corrupt officers) was not done by a nurse, a doctor or a journalist. It was done by members of the SA Police Service and other law enforcement agents,” the premier said.
“We still have the confidence, as the provincial government, in the capacity of the police to fight crime.”
A bleak picture emerged on Thursday when Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa released the national crime statistics in Pretoria.
The national figures indicate that serious crime such as murder, burglary, aggravated robbery, and hijackings are on the rise.
Mthethwa said the number of murders increased by 0.6 percent in the past financial year. However, it was down 16.6 percent over the past four years, and 27.2 percent over the past nine years.
There was also a 6.5 percent increase in attempted murder in the year under review. This was in contrast to the 16.8 percent decline over the past four years and the 51.7 percent decline over the past nine years.