Police Minister Bheki Cele is urging law enforcement officers to take a tough stance against criminals, as the country’s high crime rates indicate that criminals are waging war on citizens.
Cele made these remarks during the National Congress of Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (Popcru).
Popcru members have gathered in Durban to discuss new strategies for combating criminal activity and to elect the union’s new leadership.
Several concerns were raised, including the exodus of experienced members, lack of career advancement, and the killing of police officers.
“People may say we are calling for a war, but the truth is, we have found ourselves in the midst of a war. Just two weeks ago, I buried a member of the NIU. These criminals are challenging us, so we cannot afford to retreat,” Cele stated.
Outgoing Popcru President Dr Zizamele Cebekhulu acknowledged that the performance of the police in fighting crime is not satisfactory. He cited the lack of resources and manpower as factors that have impacted the effectiveness of law enforcement.
“The pressure they face on the streets, where people are being killed and robbers are entering homes and committing various crimes, is concerning. They do not have the freedom to walk the streets,” Cebekhulu expressed.
Cele is calling on communities to support the police in their efforts to combat all forms of crime. The five-day conference is set to conclude on Friday.