In the short term the UDM will prioritise, firstly violent crime (murder, rape, assault, domestic violence), and secondly theft (especially armed robbery, hijacking/car theft and housebreaking). These priorities flow from the basic constitutional right to safety of person and property, to ensure that the freedom, dignity and respect of all South Africans are not violated by criminals.
In the long term the UDM will implement Social Crime Prevention to address the root causes of crime. The police will seek the creation of safe and productive environments through integrated and coordinated work with other government departments. Social Crime Prevention refers to the implementation of policies that will lead to job creation and thereby provide South Africans with a dignified way of making a living. The Education department will focus on equipping the youth to assist South Africa to grow and compete globally while also instilling values such as honesty and integrity, appreciation for hard work and self improvement, and respect for others. The present government has largely failed to focus on the youth as a strategic group in the fight against crime.
2. Broad framework of objectives
2.1. Focussing on violent crime and theft
There will be zero-tolerance for violent crime. The zero-tolerance mission must be to punish, deter and rehabilitate criminals while supporting and restoring dignity and justice to victims. Only those who commit crimes against their fellow citizens should fear the wrath of the state, and should be forced to compensate their victims. Violent crime has three dimensions, which often overlap. These are:
• Extreme violence as an end in itself, i.e. murder, rape and assault.
• Violence committed during another crime.
• Domestic violence and interpersonal violence, where the majority of violent crimes are committed by family members, friends and acquaintances of the victim.
To address the unacceptably high rate of theft, priority crimes will include armed robbery, hijacking or car theft, and housebreaking. The anti-theft strategy will include continuous programmes to discourage individuals and communities from providing a market for stolen goods.
The current proliferation of these crimes can be fought on two broad inter-related fronts:
• Organised crime and gangsterism should be fought through a specialised criminal justice response focussing on high quality intelligence, investigation, prosecution, effective imprisonment and seizure of proceeds and assets gained by criminals.
There is a strong link between organised crime and gangsterism on the one hand, and violence and theft on the other. Organised crime runs large national and international networks stealing or illicitly acquiring and then smuggling and selling stolen goods. The whole process is dependent on large-scale coercion and violence. The UDM will design pro-active strategies to disrupt organised crime from gangster level up to Trans-nation-al criminal organisation level.
Any response to organised crime must recognise the importance of international cooperation due to the international nature of organised crime. Therefore South Africa must enhance its cooperation with foreign and international law enforcement agencies. This will be done through the sharing of information, expertise and technology (with regard to issues such as similar experiences and problems and specifically the training of officials) as well as the enhancement and establishment of comprehensive extradition treaties.
The police and the security agencies will be trained to deal with the threat of global terrorism and will coordinate their activities with international security and policing agencies and organisations.
• Alcohol and drug abuse account for 80% of violent crime. Substance abuse should be eradicated from society. Organised crime/gangs use the illicit trade in alcohol and drugs as a major source of income and influence over subordinates and communities.
2.2. Social crime prevention
The UDM will implement Social Crime Prevention programmes to address the root causes of crime. The police will seek the creation of safe and productive environments through integrated and coordinated work with other government departments. In addition, Social Crime Prevention refers to implementing policies that will lead to job creation and thereby provide all South Africans with a dignified way of making a living. The Education department will focus on equipping the youth to assist South Africa to grow and compete globally while also instilling values such as honesty and integrity, appreciation for hard work and self improvement, and respect for others.
Social Crime Prevention aims to remove the causes of crime by creating productive and safe environments:
• Addressing unemployment through job creation and poverty alleviation
• Restoring the social fabric by creating infrastructure for the delivery of education, health, housing, sport and recreation facilities
• Education must focus on moral regeneration. Of specific importance is the need to teach our children that violence and crime are not acceptable. The people of South Africa must be taught what their rights and duties are as part of a Responsible Citizenship programme. Moral Regeneration is central to the success of social crime prevention. The UDM therefore proposes a negotiated accord between all stakeholders in society on moral regeneration, focussing on:
• The re-establishment of quality family life. This means that specific attention must be given to the large number of crimes taking place in the family context, such as sexual assault, child abuse and domestic violence.
• Upliftment programmes for the youth.
• Business and government ethics; government and the public sector should take the lead in presenting a role model of ethical management practices.
• Investigative journalism.
• Active and responsible political opposition.
2.3. Ministry of Crime Prevention (coordinating the criminal justice departments)
The UDM proposes the creation of a Crime Prevention Ministry since the present Criminal Justice Cluster still struggles to implement the concept of coordinated and integrated strategies driven at the highest levels. The Ministry will operate as a central forum where criminal justice ministers meet and ensure a high level of collaboration among their departments and ensure coordination of Municipal Police as well as the Private Security Industry.
The current cluster still has problems coordinating implementation. It appears that unhealthy rivalry and distrust exist.
A high level of coordination is needed to monitor and evaluate strategies to determine whether such strategies are effective.
The Ministry of Crime Prevention will ensure the effectiveness of the Scorpions, which must be transferred to the line function, Operation of the SAPS, while continuing to draw on the capabilities and expertise of other departments.
High-level coordination will ensure proper budgetary allocation and spending. Some departments in this cluster, especially Justice, are guilty of sloppy and negligent handling of funds.
The eradication of corruption in the criminal justice departments must receive priority attention. The UDM recognises that corruption is a symptom of two factors: one, organised crime, two: bad management and weak organisations which do not promote a culture of accountability or whistle-blowing.
3. Specific departments
3.1. The South African Police Services (SAPS)
The police should provide professional and responsive delivery of policing services to all communities focussed on responding to crime incidents and trends effectively, through immediate intervention and/or crime investigation.
The UDM proposes that 40 000 new police officers be recruited to address the current staff shortage. These new police officers will receive specialised and intense training and will be brought into the SAPS over a period of 3 years. In addition, the structure of the SAPS must be decentralised to ensure that the best talent and capacity are not promoted or deployed away from active crime fighting.
The key focus will be on transforming the SAPS from an agency that is perceived by some to be under-resourced, lazy, incompetent, impolite, uncaring and corrupt to one that is professional, responsive, empathetic, hard-working and trustworthy. Police members will become respected role models in all communities because they have earned it. They will become role models, not just for South Africans but also for police around the world.
Under the UDM community policing implies that the police will be seen in the communities. They will be out on the streets where it counts. They will be involved in pro-active patrols, which will entail speaking to members of communities to identify the criminals and the dangerous areas so that they can ensure safety and security. The community will get to know them so that they can confidently call on them for help whenever it is needed. The police will specifically work to earn and build trust with the communities they protect. The objective of visibility will be enhanced through properly trained and equipped Municipal Police Forces.
The UDM believes that the police should be properly trained and resourced to respond to all calls for assistance quickly and professionally. Criminals that make the streets unsafe will be dealt with effectively. All police members at stations will be able to take down proper statements and provide prompt and polite service to the community. Police will also be trained to effectively respond to a range of crimes including all types of violent crimes, sexual assault and abuse, domestic violence, child abuse, as well as property crimes.
This will necessitate an increase in training and revisiting the curriculum to enhance overall levels of capacity. In particular detectives will be expected to be hard-working and trained to be thorough. They will ensure that they interview victims and all available witnesses promptly so that all the necessary evidence will be collected.
Detectives will be measured on their success in obtaining convictions and will be rewarded for their dedication. Those that allow criminals to walk free because of laziness or shoddy work will be acted against and if necessary forced to leave the police. Early warning systems will be put in place to identify ineffective police members so that their superiors can intervene and ensure that corrective steps are taken. Management at all levels will be held directly responsible for the attitudes and behaviours of the police members under their command.
The UDM will ensure that the police cooperate closely with other government departments at national, provincial and especially local level. All levels of government must do their utmost to combat and prevent crime. The SAPS will focus on ending corruption throughout government so that resources are used to assist South Africans and not only those in power.
The UDM will not tolerate corruption. Police members will be trained and assessed in accordance with values such as honesty, dedication, commitment, responsibility and perseverance. Those who cannot or will not act in line with the new standards set will be disciplined, and if necessary, forced to leave the SAPS. Police members will be rewarded for reporting and taking action against their colleagues who they see are working hand-in-hand with criminals. Elite anti-corruption units will be strengthened to conduct regular integrity tests and tackle corruption wherever it rears its ugly head. Special anti-police corruption courts will be established to deal quickly and effectively with any police member who under-mines the above goals of the new SAPS.
3.1.5. Community Mobilisation
The UDM will investigate the merits of redefining Community Policing Forums and examining the composition and management of such forums. Such a study should focus specifically on whether Community Policing Forums should be adapted in such a way that they also include all relevant government departments in order to create productive and safe environments.
The UDM will assist communities to work together to claim back the streets from criminals. Local councillors will ensure that responsible departments provide safe and clean environments in which children can grow up. There will also be a community care and safety campaign to stop people buying goods that have been stolen.
3.1.6. Responsible gun ownership
The UDM recognises responsible and limited gun ownership, while a zero-tolerance approach will be adopted against illegal gun-holders, or those who act irresponsibly with their weapons.
The aim of the Justice department will be to focus on accessibility, the rights of victims and victim empathy, speedy trials without undue delays, as well as proper management and financial discipline to ensure that taxpayers get value for their money. Key strategic areas of focus will be:
3.2.1. Victim empathy and restorative justice
Victims of crime will be treated with respect and dignity. An important aspect of victim empathy, and establishing citizens’ trust in justice, will be the implementation of a specific victim compensation strategy. The UDM will ensure that apart from punishment courts will ensure that criminals are forced to compensate their victims. This will become an automatic part of sentencing.
Prosecutors will ensure that the best possible case against criminal suspects is presented in court. More prosecutors will be appointed so that they have enough time to meet with victims and witnesses and properly prepare their cases. They will be trained to be thorough and to treat victims as if they are their lawyers.
3.2.3. Speedy trials
More courts will be established and they will be structured to work more efficiently so that cases are finalised expediently and that the awaiting-trial prisoner population drops dramatically.
3.2.4. Community involvement
The UDM will raise the issue of community mobilisation against crime. Changes will be made so that the community can and will work hand-in-hand with the agencies of criminal justice. The criminal justice system will be responsible, accountable and active in all communities. Judges and magistrates will listen to the concerns of the community and act responsibly to ensure that the police and prosecutors are held accountable for shoddy work and dangerous criminals are not released on technicalities.
Each court will have a special section to assist children who have been victims of violent and sexual crimes.
3.2.6. Sexual Crimes
Similarly all courts will be equipped to help women who have been victims of rape and sexual assault.
3.2.7. Juvenile Justice
To prevent juveniles from becoming hardened adult criminals, a juvenile justice programme will be developed which will aim to keep young people out of places that are “universities of crime”. Instead the system will be structured to place the focus on making juveniles recognise the harm they have caused and take responsibility for what they have done. Youth in trouble with the law will be subject to education and skills development programmes so that they can leave a life of crime and become role-models for others.
3.2.8. Restoration of discipline
Officials guilty of misconduct will be dealt with swiftly to ensure that the trust of the public is not betrayed by a small group of officials who taint the efforts of the whole administration.
3.2.9. Petty criminals
The courts should avoid making prisons storerooms for petty criminals usually because they cannot afford bail due to poverty who then eventually leave as hardened criminals. Measures such as community service must be explored in an effort to punish and rehabilitate such offenders.
3.3. Correctional services
The UDM will tackle corruption and gangsterism in prisons.
A key focus should be on discipline and professionalism of prison officials.
Similar to the SAPS the transformation of the prison system will be embarked upon. The goal will be to turn prisons from warehouses or universities for criminals to places of rehabilitation and development of human skills.
Systems will be introduced whereby prisoners can reduce their sentences or earn privileges through learning skills.
3.3.5. Separating violent criminals
In line with the UDM’s goal of tackling violent crime, violent criminals will be separated from non-violent awaiting trial criminals.
3.3.6. The death penalty
The UDM recognises the Constitutional Court ruling regarding the death penalty, but will call for a national referendum on the public’s insistence. Should the majority of the population support such a measure the UDM will introduce the death penalty. The UDM will review public opinion for this measure every five years. The death penalty would not be necessary if all the other measures and strategies proposed in this policy are properly implemented, which would lead to a significant drop in violent crime.
As far as the role of Intelligence in fighting crime is concerned the following two objectives will apply:
• The intelligence structures will be transformed from an inefficient relic of the past, to a modern professional agency.
• Global organised crime, corruption and terrorism will be recognised as the key threats to South Africa. Intelligence agencies should prioritise their focus on criminal syndicates, corruption in government and terrorism.
3.5. Other departments
As far as the role of Defence in fighting crime is concerned the following proposals apply:
Firstly, the SANDF will be specifically involved in Rural Safety through retraining reserve forces to provide safety in rural areas.
Secondly, the SANDF will assist with border patrols to clamp down on international smuggling and organised crime activities across South Africa’s borders.
3.5.2. Home Affairs
As far as the role of Home Affairs in fighting crime is concerned the following proposals apply:
Firstly, to focus on the issue of protecting South Africa’s national integrity and upholding commitments to fight international organised crime.
Secondly, will focus on effective border control, specifically illegal arrival/departure of goods and persons, as linked to international organised crime.
Thirdly, the issuing of ID documents and passports/visas, linked to the Movement Control System, will be managed properly to ensure that false identity and travel documents are not used in crime. This will also ensure that South Africa properly fulfils its duties in relation to international treaties and commitments, such as South Africa’s agreement with Interpol.