Police Minister Bheki Cele says the recently-established Anti-Gang Unit will be elevated to the national office to ensure that its mandate is extended to deal with more community crimes.
His announcement comes at the back of an incident that saw six members of the Anti-Gang Unit being attacked and shot at in Samora Machel in Cape Town earlier this month.
“In responding directly to the scourge of gangsterism, the Anti-Gang Unit will be elevated to a national division, and other specialised units will be introduced.
“This unit will extend its mandate and deal with other crimes of fear that are terrorising our communities,” he said.
Cele said this would also include murder, rape, car hijackings, house robberies, house burglaries and cash-in-transit heists.
New academy to bolster capacity of detectives
Cele said, meanwhile, that the plans to fully capacitate investigators with sufficient resources and relevant manpower are underway.
“To this end, a Detective Academy will be established to strengthen the capacity and training of new detectives and specialised investigators.
“Cooperation between prosecutors and investigators through prosecutorial guided investigation will be intensified to improve the success rate of all priority cases.
“Moreover, the project of the establishment of specialised courts will be enhanced in order to promote the effectiveness and efficiency of the criminal justice system,” he said.
Hawks making inroads in curbing economic crimes
Meanwhile, Cele said the fight against corruption is being intensified. The Hawks are making serious inroads in economic crimes and people are witnessing significant arrests in this regard.
“To date 1800 dockets have been submitted to the NPA for determination,” he said.
The continuous report of alleged police corruption is receiving attention.
“The process of the appointment of the IPID head is currently underway,” he said.
He said that in this new dawn, the policing approach will align with the new crime patterns of enhancing resources in combatting economic crimes; stabilising the troubled trucking industry and tackling illegal mining.
“The specialised focussed policing will also extend to support the specialised task teams focussing on political killings, police killings, high profile killings, high profile cases and taxi related killings.”
Cele said the success rate of the 72-hour activation plan is gaining momentum.
“This plan mobilises maximum resources to ensure that preliminary investigation is done thoroughly and to guarantee that no evidence is lost and perpetrators are expeditiously brought to book. This was done at the backdrop of the spike in cash-in-transit heist which dropped drastically in 2018.”