Is crime out of control?

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(File photo)

Is crime out of control or are we simply making a noise?

Police Minister, Bheki Cele, interviewed on #CrimeWatch last Wednesday evening downplayed the high crime rate and created the impression that crime was not a major problem. When I asked him about the many  incidents of crime over the festive season, he even disputed whether it was “high”. There is no doubt that we are facing a major onslaught. Criminals are continuing to run amok and there is little regard for law and order. Viral videos circulated recently of an incident in Shallcross outside  Durban where police came under attack. They earlier raided the house of a suspected drug lord.

While we have some rotten criminal cops, the majority are hardworking and passionate. We need to respect our law enforcement officials. I was shocked at the physical and verbal abuse leveled at the officers. I recently highlighted the problem of bag tempering at O R Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg and also some other airports.

The Minister of Transport, Dr Blade Ndzimande, has undertaken to take up the matter with airport authorities and airlines. The Airports Company of South Africa (ACSA) has passed the buck to the airlines. You don’t have to be a rock scientist to solve this problem which is on-going. Urgent security measures need to be put into place to stop it. Camera footage will reveal much.

Airport followings are also a problem. We recently had at more  incidents in Johannesburg. Families were robbed of their valuables shortly after leaving O R Tambo International. Police again need to up their game and stop this. And well done on the arrest of four suspects in Hillbrow last weekend. We need professional policing at all levels. We need to hold the police to account. Many of our CBD’s have become no-go zones. Thugs are terrorizing citizens. Authorities need to act and act now. A video of a man being torched in Hillbrow has surfaced. He was attacked by a mob after allegedly carrying out a robbery. 

We cannot condone mob justice and despite the fact that many are fed-up with the high levels of crime, taking the law into your own hands cannot be condoned. Communities need to play a more active role in reclaiming our streets, but within the framework of the law. We need to mobilize and support the fight against crime at all levels. We must stand up against crime and be bold enough to blow the whistle on criminals. For how long are we going to live in fear? Crime is killing South Africa and we need urgent interventions.

The Dial Direct/Namola emergency app is available free of charge and it guarantees a call back within seconds of pressing the SOS button. Hundreds of users get help fast each week. Almost 250 000 users now have the Dial Direct/Namola app and it is the fastest growing emergency app in South Africa.

We have to use technology to fight crime. Now is the time!

Let’s make sure we all hold hands in 2019 and contribute to a safer South Africa. Let’s not sit back and watch criminals run amok. Enough is enough and it’s time for all of us to stand up and take a stand. The #CrimeWatch show on eNCA will be used to create awareness. We will continue to make it educational. The Real Crime Videos, safety tips, missing persons and “Rogues Gallery” features are aimed at ensuring we stay safe and get the bad guys behind bars.

Yusuf Abramjee is an anti-crime activist and the anchor of #CrimeWatch on eNCA. He is also the Chief Ambassador of the Dial Direct/Namola Safety App. Twitter: @abramjee