The South African Police Service briefed the Committee on crime statistics against women and children, police training on the implementation of the Domestic Violence Act and the re-establishment of the Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences (FCS) units. Statistics showed that the rate of violence against children (aged 18 and younger) had increased in all the provinces between the financial years 2008/2009 and 2009/2010. The rate of violence against women over 18 increased in some provinces, whilst in others there was a decrease. A total of 1114 police officers attended training workshops on family violence, child protection and sexual offences. The re-establishment of the FCS units began in June 2010. There were currently 176 units at all clusters in all 9 provinces. Discussion following the presentation was brief as Members were asked to submit questions in writing to the SAPS.
Briefing by Briefing by South African Police
The statistics were based on the number of cases reported. The statistical breakdown of crimes committed against children, (aged 18 and younger) was as follows:
•Attempted murder: 2.0%
•Sexual Offences: 48.5%
•Common assault: 26.5%
•Assault (grievous bodily harm): 21.3%
The statistical breakdown of crimes committed against women aged 18 years and older was as follows:
•Attempted murder: 1.5%
•Sexual Offences: 18.2%
•Common assault: 47.6%
•Assault (grievous bodily harm): 31.4%
The crimes against children, younger than 18 years increased between the financial years 2008/2009 and 2009/2010 in all provinces. The rates of increase were as follows:
•Kwa-Zulu Natal: 26.3%
The rate of crimes committed against women over 18 read differently. Some provinces saw an increase, whilst others experienced a decrease. The following provinces showed an increase in the rate of violence against women between the financial years 2008/2009 and 2009/2010:
•Eastern Cape: 6.1%
•Kwa-Zulu Natal: 8.9%
•Western Cape: 12.5%
To provide a better understanding of the provincial distribution of crimes against women and children, the number of reported cases was reflected as a proportion of 100 000 of the population. The
Lieutenant General Christabel Nobubele Mbekela from the SAPS Training Division followed with a presentation on police training in relation to the implementation of the Domestic Violence Act.
Training to enhance the skills of SAPS members to effectively deal with violence against women and children, as well as people with disabilities, was prioritised in the 2010 Training Provisioning Plan (TPP), and still remained a priority in the current TPP 2011/12.
Some of the training interventions included, Domestic Violence Learning Programme, Children and Youth at Risk, First Responder to Sexual Offences Learning Programme, Sexual Offences course for Investigating Officers, Vulnerable Children Workshop, Child Justice Act National Workshop, National Victim Empowerment Training, Human Rights in Policing, and the Disability Awareness Workshop. The number of police that attended a training course on Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences across all provinces totaled 1114. The number of police offices that attended the Sexual Offences Investigations course was 808, and 1398 participated in the Detective course.
Major-General Vinesh Kumar Moonoo, Head: General Investigations, SAPS, made the final presentation on the re-establishment of the Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences (FCS) units. Before August 2006 the FCS consisted of 66 units in all 9 provinces. The total personnel strength was 1100. During August 2006 the SAPS took a decision to migrate all FCS units to station level in order to bring the specialised service closer to the community and to provide a more effective service to the victims of sexual offences related crimes.
During the Budget Vote on 6 May 2010 in Parliament the Minister of Police emphasised that the fight on crimes against women and children must be strengthened and that FCS units must be re-established. All FCS units must be fully operational by 1 April 2011. The re-establishment of the FCS units began in June 2010. There were currently 176 units at all clusters in all 9 provinces. Details were provided on the locations of all of the units that were established.
Major-General Moonoo outlined the FCS head office organogram and FCS provincial organogram, and further outlined the FCS Annual Performance Plan 2011/12. Some key objectives included, a detection rate of 71%-75% for crimes against women 18 years and older from the financial year 2011/12 onwards, percentage of dockets for crimes against women 18 years and older at 37% for 2011/12, 40% 2012/13, 43% 2013/14 and 46% 2014/15. For crimes against children 18 years and younger, the target for the detection rate was set between 77%-80% from 2011/12 onwards. The percentage of court ready docket cases was set at 24% 2011/12, 27% 2012/13, 30% 2013/14 and 33% 2014/15.
Some of the achievements for the 2010/2011 period included 44 life imprisonment sentences in 44 cases, a total of 2744 years of imprisonment in 169 cases for victims under 18. For victims over 18, 23 life imprisonment sentences in 23 cases, and a total of 3548 years in 202 cases were achieved.
Mr D Worth (DA- Free State) asked why there was a disparity between the percentage of sexual offences against children under 18 and women over 18. He pointed out that the graph showed that sexual offences against children stood at 48.5% while against women over 18 it was 18.2%. He wanted to know what the possible reasons could be for a drop in numbers.
Dr de Kock replied that sexual offences against children were often committed by children who were slightly older than their victims. Women over 18 years old were often in some kind of relationship and that common assault was more recurrent in domestic relationships.
The Chairperson closed the meeting and said that Members would submit questions in writing by Thursday 23 June 2011, and that SAPS would have a week to respond in writing.
The meeting was adjourned.
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