File picture: Skyler Reid.

CAPE TOWN - Parliament's police portfolio committee has called the South African Police Service (SAPS) station commanders of the five police stations in South Africa with the highest incidents of violent crime to account on Tuesday. 

In a statement on Sunday, committee chairman Francois Beukman said it was critical for violent crime to be addressed as the number one priority of the SAPS.

The committee decided that the station commanders of Hillbrow, Johannesburg Central, Kagiso, Mitchells Plain, and Nyanga should appear before the committee so that the current SAPS strategy on combatting contact crime could be evaluated, he said.

"Murder, attempted murder, robbery, and rape are the crimes that affect the safety of communities and the necessary strategic and operational measures should be taken to intervene in the top five crime stations." 

The committee had always emphasised that SAPS needed to act pro-actively to ensure that police stations had the necessary resources to deal with the crime profile in the five precincts.

The civilian secretariat of police had also been invited to brief the committee on the root causes contributing to the high crime rate in the affected areas.

"Some of the root causes contributing to contact crime, i.e lack of social cohesion, poor environmental design of neighbourhoods, illegal liquor outlets, poor street lights, availability of illegal guns, and the prevalency of gangs will also be under the spotlight.

"Dealing effectively with the root causes of contact crime is not only a police matter, but involves other spheres of government and civil society. The role of community police forums (CPFs) is vital to foster community participation in the fight against crime and the CPF chairs have also been invited to the meeting on Tuesday," Beukman said.

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African News Agency (ANA)