National Crime Prevention Strategy
This is a short version of the strategy document prepared by an
Inter-departmental Strategy Team comprising of the Departments of Correctional
Services, Defence, Intelligence, Justice, Safety and Security and Welfare. The
full document is available on request from the Department for Safety and
1. WHY A NATIONAL CRIME PREVENTION STRATEGY?
High levels of crime pose a serious threat to our emergent democracy. Violent
crime often leads to a tragic loss of life and injury, and the loss of
possessions and livelihood due to crime is incalculable. Crime results in the
deprivation of the rights and dignity of citizens, and poses a threat to
peaceful resolution of differences and rightful participation of all in the
Crime casts fear into the hearts of South Africans from all walks of life and
prevents them from taking their rightful place in the development and growth of
our country. It inhibits our citizens from communicating with one another
freely, from engaging in economic activity and prevents entrepreneurs and
investors from taking advantage of the opportunities, which our country offers.
The rights and freedoms, which the constitution entrenches, are threatened every
time a citizen becomes a victim of crime.
For these reasons, the Government regards the prevention of crime as a national
priority. This applies not only to the Cabinet, and the departments concerned
with security and justice, but also to all other national departments, which
are able to make a contribution to a reduction in crime levels. Provincial
governments will work together with us to implement the National Crime
Prevention Strategy (NCPS).
We accept that some of the causes of crime are deep rooted and related to the
history and socio-economic realities of our society. For this reason, a
comprehensive strategy must go beyond providing only effective policing. It
must also provide for mobilisation and participation of civil society in
assisting to address crime.
To effectively reduce crime, it is necessary to transform and re-organise
government and facilitate real community participation. We need to weave a new
social fabric, robust enough to withstand the stresses of rapid change in a
newborn society. To expect this to happen too quickly is to sabotage proper
planning and solid construction of a new criminal justice machinery.
Most fundamentally, this strategy requires that government moves beyond a mode
of crisis management and reaction. Government must ensure that effective
planning and sustainable success in reducing crime will reach well into the
2. THE AIMS OF THE NATIONAL CRIME PREVENTION STRATEGY
The National Crime Prevention Strategy was initiated by the Cabinet in March
1995. The strategy is the result of an extensive process of research and
analysis and has drawn on international experiences. Both Business Against
Crime and NGO' s concerned with crime prevention have made a substantial
contribution to this strategy.
The NCPS has the following objectives:
- The establishment of a comprehensive policy framework which will enable
government to address crime in a co-ordinated and focused manner which draws on
the resources of all government agencies, as well as civil society.
- The promotion of a shared understanding and common vision of how we, as a
nation, are going to tackle crime. This vision should also inform and stimulate
initiatives at provincial and local level.
- The development of a set of national programmes, which serve to kick-start and
focus the efforts of various government departments in delivering quality
service aimed at solving the problems leading to high crime levels.
- The maximisation of civil society's participation in mobilising and sustaining
crime prevention initiatives.
- Creation of a dedicated and integrated crime prevention capacity, which can
conduct on-going research and evaluation of departmental and public campaigns
as well as facilitating effective crime prevention programmes at provincial and
The NCPS is based on a fundamentally new approach by government. In particular,
it requires the development of wider responsibility for crime prevention and a
shift in emphasis from reactive "crime control"; which deploys most resources
towards responding after crimes have already been committed, towards proactive
"crime prevention" aimed at preventing crime from occurring at all.
The strategy focuses on a number of challenges, especially:
- Existing crime data is very unreliable and can be misleading. This places a
priority on gathering reliable crime information so as to facilitate effective
deployment of resources and dynamic strategic planning.
- Media representations of crime are very influential in shaping public
perceptions. These are however, often disproportionately responsive to audible
interest groups in society, rather than to less obvious, but important, crime
issues. An effective communications strategy, based on reliable information, is
important in properly informing public opinion in the fight against crime.
This strategy concentrates on National Programmes and on developing a conceptual
framework for crime prevention at all levels. Although committed to the
programmes contained herein, the government sees this document as representing
a working strategy, which should be refined, changed and improved on the basis
of feedback and experience. In particular, provincial summits will be held to
develop civil society and provincial government responses to this strategy.
3. THE ROOTS OF THE CURRENT CRIME SITUATION
This strategy is based on a comprehensive analysis of the present crime
situation. In particular, the NCPS strategy team has conducted an in-depth
study of the causes of crime. This is based on comparative international
research and pays attention to the particular South African factors, which
underlie high crime levels.
Crime levels in South Africa are affected by many of the same universal factors,
which manifest themselves in other countries. Our unique situation and history
have however contributed to a range of factors specific to our situation. Some
of these factors are outlined below:
- Comparative research, from countries such as the former Soviet Union and
Northern Ireland, suggests that all forms of crime increase during periods of
political transition. Our own rapid transition had the unintended consequences
of breaking down the existing (and illegitimate) mechanisms of social control
without immediately replacing them with legitimate and credible alternatives.
This weakness has been exacerbated by the historical breakdown of other
vehicles of social authority, such as schools, the family and traditional
- The Government of National Unity inherited, intact, the entire public service,
including a racially based, disproportionate distribution of Criminal Justice
resources. Insufficient and ill-equipped personnel, combined with outdated
systems, and fragmented departments, have contributed to a system that has been
unable to cope with the demands created by the need to provide services to all
the people of South Africa.
- The political transition also generated substantial material expectations many
of which were largely beyond the immediate delivery capacity of the new
government. This has generated frustrated expectations. The very high, and
often unrealised, expectations associated with transition have contributed to
the justification of crime. In addition, the legitimation of violence
associated with political causes has served to decriminalise certain categories
of crime related to inter-group conflict or political rivalries. Historical
criminalisation of political activity and protest has also contributed to a
blurring between legitimate forms of protest and criminal activity.
- South Africa's violent history has left us with a "culture of violence", which
contributes to the high levels of violence associated with criminal activity in
South Africa. Violence in South Africa has come to be regarded as an acceptable
means of resolving social, political and even domestic conflicts.
- Historically shaped, poverty and underdevelopment provide key contextual
factors in understanding increasing crime levels. Although poverty does not
directly lead to higher crime levels, together with a range of other
socio-political and cultural factors, it contributes to conditions for an
increase in crime and the growth of criminal syndicates and gangs.
- The historic marginalisation of the youth, combined with the slow growth in
the job market, has contributed to the creation of a large pool of "at risk";
- While economic growth and development are crucial in addressing the factors,
which lead to crime, poorly managed development can itself contribute to
increased crime rates.
- The problem of rising crime levels has become something of a "political
football". The tendency of political parties to use the issue as a vote catcher
has resulted in the generation of single-factor causes and solutions to crime
and violence. It is vital that the NCPS be seen as both a multi-agency and
multi-party approach, and that the widest possible consensus is forged in the
approach we adopt to crime.
- The absence of services to victims of crime means that the negative impact of
crime on individual, family and community is largely ignored. Not only does
this contribute to the incidence of repeat victimisation, but may lead to
retributive violence, or the perpetration of other crimes displaced into the
social or domestic arena.
- The number and easy accessibility of firearms is a major contributor to
violent crime. The fact that a large proportion of the citizenry is armed
serves to escalate the levels of violence associated with robbery, rape and car
- Gender inequality, both in terms of popular attitudes and the inadequate
service offered buy the criminal justice system to women, contributes to the
high levels of violence perpetrated against women.
4. APPROACH OF THE NATIONAL CRIME PREVENTION STRATEGY
It is important to recognise that there is no single cause of crime in South
Africa. The search for single causes will merely lead to simplistic and
therefore ineffective solutions. At the same time, different types of crime
have different root causes, and hence require different approaches to
prevention. The National Crime Prevention Strategy is based on the principle of
separate examination of each form of crime. This principle of "dis-aggregation"
runs through the NCPS and means that we deal with car hijacking in a way which
is quite distinct from corruption, murder or child abuse.
This dis-aggregated examination of different crime types leads to the inevitable
conclusion that sustainable prevention can only be achieved through a
multi-faceted approach. Crime needs to be tackled in a comprehensive way, which
means going beyond an exclusive focus on policing and the Justice system. It
means problem solving to address the causal factors, which provide
opportunities for crime and limit the likelihood of detection. The framework
outlined in this strategy brings a far wider range of solutions to bear on
specific crimes, as well as creating roles for a broader range of participants.
In one sense all crime is related, in that the proliferation of petty offences
creates a sense of lawlessness, within which the community is more likely to
turn a blind eye to much more serious offences. On the other hand it is
necessary to focus limited resources on the most important crimes. For this
reason we have prioritised seven key crime categories. These crimes currently
pose the greatest threat to our citizens and to the prosperity of the country.
This prioritisation must be understood in the context of provincial and local
differences and should not be cast in stone. Nevertheless, it provides a
critical starting point for the more effective utilization of police,
prosecutors and limited prison capacity.
The crime categories of particular concern are:
- Crimes involving firearms, which have significantly increased the level of
violence associated with crime, thereby increasing physical and psychological
costs of crime to society.
- Organised Crime, including the organised smuggling of illegal immigrants and
narcotics, and gangsterism, serve to generate higher levels of criminality and
violence. Since the advent of democracy and the re-integration of South Africa
into the international community, we have seen a rapid growth in this form of
- White Collar Crime places a burden on the economy and contributes to the
prevailing sense of lawlessness
- Gender Violence and crimes against children are not only highly prevalent but
have a profoundly negative impact on the rights and future well-being of women
- Violence associated with inter-group conflict, such as political conflicts,
taxi violence and land disputes are unacceptably common in South Africa and
pose a threat to democratic tolerance and orderly co-existence.
- Vehicle Theft and Hijacking has increased substantially and has contributed to
increased levels of fear and insecurity.
- Corruption within criminal justice system, contributes to a general climate of
lawlessness, and serves to undermine the legitimacy and effectiveness of the
criminal justice system. For all of these categories of crime, immediate prioritisation of departmental resources has already been implemented. These
priority crimes are also the focus of the core national programmes, which are
described in section 6. An outline of some of the most important ongoing
actions is presented in section 5 below.
5. WHAT THE NCPS BUILDS ON - CURRENT ACTIONS AGAINST CRIME
The NCPS is primarily a long-term programme aimed at creating conditions in
which the opportunities and motivation for crime will be reduced, as well as
transforming the capacity of the criminal justice system to deal with crime.
The National Crime Prevention Strategy is, however, based on an ongoing
programme of action which is being implemented by a range of departments.
Current and on-going actions involve the SAPS, SANDF, National Intelligence
Co-ordination Committee and the Departments of Justice, Correctional Services
and Welfare. Each of these entities has their own on-going programme to address
crime. The departmental activities are centred on the priority crimes already
listed. Some of the actions which are presently underway include:
- Addressing crimes involving firearms through an interagency effort to improve
the legislative controls of firearms, track smuggling routes and syndicates,
cooperate with neighbouring states, tighten controls on state-owned weapons and
restrict illegal importation of firearms. In addition, special efforts have
been launched to curb the possession of illegal firearms and increase
deterrence in dealing with persons charged with firearm related crimes.
- Organised crime is being targeted through focused intelligence gathering
efforts related to organised crime syndicates. Such syndicates are involved in
a range of different crime forms and close co-operation between departmental
entities working on different facets of organised crime has been prioritised.
Activities around specific issues related to organised crime include the
implementation of a new approach, based on community collaboration. Strategies
have also been developed to deal with gangsterism in certain communities
plagued by gangs.
- White collar crime is being addressed through a multifaceted approach which
includes legislation to curb money laundering, special co-operation efforts
between police and business as well as a programme by business to develop codes
of conduct within the private sector
- Gender violence and crimes against children are receiving special attention
through the establishment of specialised police units to investigate crimes
against children and the creation of victim aid centres at which
interdisciplinary services are offered to victims of these crimes. In addition,
special court facilities, which protect young witnesses have been established
around the country, and are supported in some areas by prosecutors specialising
in these cases. A number of governmental and non-governmental education and
awareness programmes exist to educate children to deal with abuse and to raise
awareness of gender crimes and crimes against children.
- Violence associated with inter-group conflict is being addressed through a
Presidential task team to address violence in Kwa Zulu Natal. This team is
co-ordinating all intelligence gathering efforts and identifying solutions in
areas particularly affected by violence. Operational strategies based on sector
policing are aimed at maximising police deployment in affected areas. In
addition an intelligence task team is supporting the Cabinet Committee on Taxi
Violence and special police units are addressing this issue.
- Short term strategies to deal with vehicle theft and hijacking are focused on
introducing tracking systems to detect vehicles, partnerships to mobilise the
community to assist in locating stolen vehicles and partnerships with civil
society which support law enforcement efforts. In addition, a Border Control
Unit to address the movement of cars out of the country has been set up and is
being supported by additional deployment of SANDF resources in support of
roadblocks and cordon and search operations.
- Corruption within the Criminal Justice System is being addressed by the
establishment of police anti-corruption units at National and Provincial level.
An Independent Complaints Directorate is being established and will receive and
process complaints from the public. Control measures are being implemented to
prevent the theft of police dockets in the Justice sector and investigations
into corruption are underway in the Department of Welfare. These efforts are
being complemented by intelligence projects aimed at uncovering corruption
within government more widely.
6. THE FOUR PILLAR APPROACH TO CRIME PREVENTION - A STRATEGIC
The government has adopted the four-pillar approach as a model, which sets out
the different areas in which crime prevention should be developed. This model
is intended to provide a basis for the development of crime prevention
initiatives at provincial and municipal levels, as well as through civil
The Criminal Justice Process aims to make the criminal justice system more
efficient and effective. It must provide a sure and clear deterrent for
criminals and reduce the risks of re-offending.
Reducing Crime through Environmental Design focuses on designing systems to
reduce the opportunity for crime and increase the ease of detection and
identification of criminals.
Public Values and Education concern initiatives aimed at changing the way
communities react to crime and violence. It involves programmes which utilise
public education and information in facilitating meaningful citizen
participation in crime prevention.
Trans-national crime programmes aim at improving the controls over cross border
traffic related to crime and reducing the refuge, which the region offenders to
international criminal syndicates.
7. NATIONAL PROGRAMMES TO PREVENT CRIME
PILLAR 1: NATIONAL PROGRAMMES - THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE PROCESS
An effective and legitimate criminal justice system is a vital foundation for
crime prevention and the protection of human rights. This pillar will be
addressed at a national level by 8 key programmes designed to revamp and
energise the criminal justice system as a whole. The key aims of programmes in
this pillar are:
- To increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the criminal justice system as
a deterrent to crime and as a source of relief and support to victims.
- To improve the access of dis-empowered groups to the criminal justice process.
These include women, children and victims in general.
- To focus the resources of the criminal justice system on priority crimes.
- To forge inter-departmental integration of policy and management, in the
interests of co-ordinated planning, coherent action and the effective use of
- To improve the service delivered by the criminal justice process to victims,
through increasing accessibility to victims and sensitivity to their needs.
1.1 Re-engineering of Criminal Justice Process
This programme is aimed at increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of the
criminal justice process, thus increasing the probability of successful
investigation, prosecution and punishment for priority crimes. It aims to
reduce the time period, which elapses between the reporting of a crime and
sentencing, hence improving the deterrent quality of the criminal justice
system, as well as enhancing public confidence.
Consultants are busy identifying the most important problem areas and a
Cross-cutting Task Group is working to integrate policy and management between
police, courts, prisons, and welfare agencies.
Department of Justice, assisted by departments of Safety and Security,
Correctional Services and Health & Social Services, the private sector and
- Unblock blockages in process between investigation, arrest, prosecution and
- Strengthen weak points through designing new systems, training personnel and
funding critical leverage points. National Programme
1.2 Criminal Justice Information Management
The Criminal Justice System is essentially information driven. However, existing
information systems are outdated, fragmented and sometimes require arduous
manual search and retrieval of data. Quality information is essential for
investigation, prosecution and sentencing and is crucial in deciding how best
to use limited resources. Improved quality and effective use of information are
critical factors in enhancing the efficiency of the criminal justice system as
a whole and are the objects of this programme.
Department of Safety and Security assisted by the departments of Justice,
Correctional Services and Health & Social Services, the private sector and
- Create networks between departments for data concerning cases, suspects and
convicts which will enable shared use of systems, cost saving and improvements
- Design of data programmes to assist in assessing the effectiveness of
different functions within the criminal justice process. This will support
better decision-making, resource allocation and strategic planning.
1.3 Crime Information and Intelligence Adequate crime information is vital, not
only for the effective investigation and prosecution of organised crime
syndicates, but as a key resource in developing preventive strategies under
pillars 2, 3 and 4. This programme involves focusing resources and improve
co-ordination and analysis at all levels. It also involves making more
effective use of existing "intelligence".
National Intelligence Co-ordinating Committee (NICOC), assisted by the
departments of Justice, Defence, Safety and Security, Correctional Services,
Health & Social Services, the South African Secret Service, academic
analysts and NGOs who focus on crime trends and syndicates.
- Increase the analysis of strategic information for crime- prevention purposes.
- Greater integration of crime data gathered at station level into a
comprehensive strategic analysis of criminal trends.
- Integration of public sources of information and analysis with "intelligence"
gathered by other means, and making certain crime intelligence more widely
available to facilitate local initiatives and community empowerment.
1.4 Prosecutorial Policy
The investigative and prosecutorial priority placed on different offences, is a
key factor in the effective use of resources. In order to optimise
investigative and court capacity, as well as to build public confidence, a
clear prosecutorial policy is required. This policy will rest with the
Attorneys General (AG's) and it is vital that this programme should not impinge
on the independence of the Judiciary.
Department of Justice, in collaboration with AG's, Law Commission and the
Department of Safety and Security.
- Establishment of guidelines to place more emphasis on priority crimes and
ensure that the needs of special interest groups are met.
- Improvement and control of linkages between police and prosecutors to improve
efficiency, within the bounds of police impartiality and judicial independence.
1.5 Appropriate Community Sentencing Available correctional resources must be
used in a targeted way to deal more effectively with serious offenders. The
imposition of prison sentences on minor offenders reduces the likelihood of
re-integration into society and further burdens the criminal justice system.
lncreasing the availability of community sentencing options on conviction
increases humane treatment of minor offenders and will improve the
effectiveness of corrections more widely by reducing the burden on the
correctional services department. This will also reduce recidivism within this
Correctional Services, assisted by the departments of Health & Social
Services, Safety and Security, Justice, the Law Commission and NGOs involved
with offender rehabilitation.
- Development of criteria in line with the priority crimes described above and
guidelines for sentencing which are canvassed with the Judiciary.
- Review and upgrade existing community sentencing options and examine the
potential roles of community service providers in this regard.
1.6 Diversion Programme for Minor Offenders
The criminal justice system is enormously costly and often inappropriate for
dealing with petty offenders, particularly juveniles, where stigmatisation can
pose an intolerable burden on the normal developmental path to responsible
adult citizenship. This programme aims to divert petty offenders and juveniles
out of the criminal justice system.
Lead Agency Department of Health & Social Services, assisted by the
departments of Correctional Services, Justice, Defence, Safety and Security and
non-governmental organisations concerned with child welfare and the
rehabilitation of offenders.
- Extend existing capacity for diversion on the basis of agreed national
guidelines and criteria.
- Develop standardised referral system, in consultation with Attorneys General
and South African Police Service.
1.7 Secure Care for Juveniles Youthful offenders suspected of serious offences
should not be held in standard prison or police cells. They do, however, need
to be held securely, in an environment, which limits unnecessary trauma and
strengthens the likelihood of eventual re-integration into society. This
requires the creation of special secure care facilities for young suspects and
Department of Health & Social Services, through the inter-ministerial
committee on Young People at Risk, which includes the departments of Justice,
Safety and Security and Correctional Services. This team will be assisted by
other key departments such as Public Works, NGOs and the private sector.
- Speed up the completion or conversion of necessary buildings .for Secure Care
Facilities for juveniles.
- Implement legislative steps and social programmes to discourage the
exploitation of juveniles by criminal syndicates.
1.8 Rationalisation of Legislation In the past, legislation, which relates to
crime prevention has not been co-ordinated in a coherent programme. This
programme is aimed at improving and streamlining the development of legislation
required to improve crime prevention. It is aimed at ensuring that legislation
addresses the protection of special interest groups, including women and
The Department of Justice, supported by Safety and Security the South African
Law Commission, the relevant portfolio committees of the National Assembly.
- Review the progress of all legislation promoted by a departments, which will
contribute to crime prevention.
- Speed up the preparation of key legislation, which is necessary in supporting
crime prevention efforts.
1.9 Victim Empowerment Programme Recognition of the role and rights of victims
are vital in addressing the effects of crime and creating crime-resistant
communities. This programme is aimed at making the criminal justice process
more victim-friendly minimising the negative effects of crime on its victims.
This empowerment of victims is aimed at creating a greater role for victims in
the criminal justice process, as well as providing protection against repeat
Department of Health & Social Services, supported by the Department of
Safety & Security, Justice, Local Health authorities and service groups.
- Extend training to police and justice officials, which introduces greater
victim sensitivity, as well as referral to other service providers to address
the effects of crime.
- Implement a victim support programme, based on surveys of victims' experiences
of the criminal justice system.
- Provide basic information to complainants and victims regarding the progress
of all cases, as well as key information which enables victims to lay
complaints more easily.
PILLAR 2: REDUCING CRIME THROUGH ENVIRONMENTAL DESIGN
The high incidence of many forms of crime is due to an environment, which
provides ample opportunities for crime, and where risks of detection, or
prosecution are low. This pillar will extend the development of security-based
design of residential areas buildings and shopping centres. Ultimately the
objective of this pillar is to ensure that safety and crime prevention
considerations are applied in the development of all new structures and
systems, and in the re-design and upgrading of old areas.
The objectives of this pillar are:
- To encourage awareness of the possibilities of environmental design in
reducing and preventing crime.
- To promote the use of environmental designs in new areas including in the
design of delivery systems, the organisation of industries and accounting
The four initial national programmes covered here exist in areas where the needs
are well established. These are by no means exhaustive and it is envisaged that
other programmes will be initiated in the near future, at national, provincial
and at local level.
2.1 Environmental Design and Maintenance
While environmental design to reduce crime is not new, no integrated policy has
existed on this matter. Active support is required for the development of
greater awareness and capacity in the field of environmental crime prevention.
The importance of maintaining of existing infrastructure and services in
high-risk areas must also be strengthened through incentives and policy
direction from all levels of government.
Department of Safety and Security, supported by Sport, Recreation Arts &
Culture, Trade and Industry, Home Affairs, Justice, Health & Social
Services, Provincial and Local Government and professional associations such as
architects, town planners and the security industry, as well as development
agencies and non-governmental organisations.
- Establish institutional capacity to research, advise and monitor environmental
design within the private sector and to develop an environmental design policy
- Examine the need for greater regulation of business sectors involving
high-value commodities, which fuel the development of crime.
2.2 Identification System
The existence of a functional system of citizen identification is an important
enabling condition for effective governance. It also provides an important
underlying resource for regulation and law enforcement. The effectiveness of
the new ID system in crime prevention applications requires both that service
providers utilise the national ID system as a safety check, and that clear
guidelines are developed to prevent abuse of the system from impinging on the
rights of citizens.
Department of Home Affairs, supported by Safety and Security, Justice, Roads
& Transport, service providers and the private sector.
- Establish mechanisms for law enforcement agencies to access the National ID
system where required.
- Speed up the Implementation of a new ID system, which utilises an Automated
Fingerprint Identification System, as well as the implementation of a network,
which allows "on-line" checking of ID validity.
- Facilitate education and publicity on the applications of this ID system for
private and public service providers.
2.3 Motor Vehicle Regulation
High levels of motor vehicle theft are linked to the ease with which stolen
vehicles can be sold for parts, or re-registered as new vehicles. In support of
police action, it is vital to reduce the ease with which this commodity is
recycled into cash. This could be achieved through the introduction of a
universal Motor Vehicle Parts marking system, as wall as an improved licensing
system, and through other measures which have yet to be assessed.
Department of Safety & Security, supported by Roads & Transport, Trade
and Industry, Provincial and Local Traffic Authorities, civil society bodies
such as the Automobile Association and Business Against Crime, the Taxi
Industry and the panel beating industry also have a key role to play.
- Establish consensus with role players on major prevention initiatives in
respect of vehicle crime.
- Speed up the implementation of a new Licensing System.
- Improve the co-ordination and co-operation between all role-players involved
in the motor vehicle sector.
2.4 Corruption and Commercial Crime
White collar crime, corruption within government, and serious economic offences
involve huge resources and impose a great burden on government and business.
Extensive white collar crime complements organised crime and helps to promote a
sense of lawlessness. This programme involves initiatives to strengthen
internal regulations and control, and steps to uncover hidden crime the public
and private sector.
Department of Safety & Security, supported by the departments of Justice,
Finance, Trade and Industry, the Independent Complaints Directorate,
intelligence agencies, the Public Service Commission and Public Protector,
private sector, professional and consumer bodies and the Committee on Harmful
- Establish consensus on codes of conduct for business and government, with
regard to white collar crime and corruption.
- Speed up the implementation of legislation to restrict money laundering.
- Provide a government/civil society resource on trends and information required
to address corruption.
PILLAR 3: PUBLIC VALUES AND EDUCATION
The prevailing moral climate within communities, attitudes towards crime, and
the willingness of citizens and communities to take responsibility for crime
are critical factors in reducing tolerance towards crime, and hence reducing
crime levels. This pillar covers strategies aimed at intervening in the way in
which society engages with and responds to crime and conflict. Given fiscal
constraints, it is vital to improve public information and harness greater
citizen responsibility and involvement in crime prevention. This pillar aims
- Improve public understanding of the Criminal Justice System, to enable fuller
- Enhance crime awareness to underpin the development of strong community values
and social pressure against criminality.
- To promote non-violent conflict resolution, awareness of gender issues and the
empowerment of sectors prone to victimisation.
3.1 Public Education Programme Public awareness of the causes and implications
of crime, including the purchase of stolen property is a key factor in crime
prevention. This programme involves the development of a focused, needs-based
public education programme, which aims to alter public attitudes and responses
to crime and to activities, which support crime. It is also vital in forging a
national vision around crime prevention.
Department of Safety & Security, supported by the South African
Communication Service, the departments of Justice, Health & Social
Services, Correctional Services, Business Against Crime, Organised Labour,
religious groups, NGOs. Provincial, Local government and local community groups
are also key role players in this area.
- The launch of a National Public Education programme on crime.
- Liaison with provinces to initiate provincial and local public education programmes.
- A comprehensive internal education programme for officials within various
government departments, in order to provide a basis for the dynamic
implementation of the NCPS as a whole.
3.2 School-based education against crime The school is a key arena in which
attitudes, values and life skills are developed. Formal schooling provides an
opportunity for the creation of responsible and empowered citizenship at an
early age. By providing a basic grounding in the workings of the criminal
justice system as well as key life skills which build confidence and provide
ammunition to deal with victimisation, this programme aims eventually to create
new relations between citizens and to facilitate the administration of justice.
Departments of Education, Correctional Services, Justice, Health & Social
Services (Youth at Risk Committee), Safety and Security, Home Affairs,
Provincial Education authorities and NGOs.
- The development of a pilot schools curriculum and the selection of pilot
schools across the country.
- The production of materials for teacher training and classroom facilitation.
PILLAR 4: TRANS-NATIONAL CRIME
International and regional criminal syndicates have a large influence in
promoting crime in South Africa. The movement of people and commodities across
national borders poses a significant challenge to law enforcement in the
region. This Pillar aims to:
- Restrict the smuggling of commodities across borders through better regulation
of ports of entry and border zones.
- Mobilise and co-ordinate border policing resources in South Africa.
- Improve co-ordination between South African agencies responsible for border
regulation, the control of ports of entry, the implementation of immigration
- Prioritise the deployment of intelligence capacity, to focus on regional
movements and methods employed by crime syndicates. The emphasis on
trans-national crime must be complemented by an integrated regional development
strategy, which aims to reduce the huge disparities in income in the region.
4.1 Trans-national Organised Crime The bulk of trans-national crime involves
organised syndicates, which are a major contributor to the increase in general
crime levels. South Africa has become a recent target for organised crime,
because of its relative affluence and the relative weakness of regulation of
movement of people and goods across regional borders. This programme will focus
both South African and regional law enforcement and intelligence resources on
trans-national organised crime.
Departments of Safety & Security, Trade and Industry, Foreign Affairs,
Defence, Justice, Home Affairs, National Intelligence Co-ordinating Committee,
Inter-state Defence and Security Committee (lSDSC), South African Secret
Service and the South African Revenue Service (SARS).
- Activation of the structures of the ISDSC to provide for regional intelligence
and security co-ordination.
- Forge tight co-operation between agencies working with cross-border
transactions and tariffs.
4.2 Border Control and Ports of Entry Inadequate regulation of land and sea
borders and national air space, combined with poorly regulated ports of entry,
create easy opportunities for criminal activity. Large-scale illegal
immigration has received the most public attention, although its contribution
to crime levels is probably overrated. Nevertheless it warrants closer
attention through this programme, which aims to improve controls over cross
border movements of persons and goods to enable detection of cross-border
Departments of Safety & Security, Defence, Trade and Industry, Justice,
Foreign Affairs, Home Affairs National Intelligence Coordinating Committee,
South African Secret Service, and the South African Revenue Service (SARS).
- Integrate the workings of the five agencies involved with regulation of ports
- Manage the effective implementation of the Aliens Control Act of 1995
activation of the structures of the ISDSC to provide for regional intelligence
and security co-ordination.
8. IMPLEMENTING THE NCPS: NATIONAL, PROVINCIAL AND LOCAL ROLES AND
This NCPS strategy document provides sufficient detail to underpin the
implementation of the NCPS as a part of the Growth and Development Strategy.
Implementation will be on the basis of the following principles:
- Crime prevention cannot be tackled by government alone, or by one sector of
government alone. It requires an integrated, multi-agency approach where all
relevant departments view crime prevention as a shared responsibility and
- Substantially increased expenditure on security is not possible. Rather, the
strategy should comprise distinct, effectively driven, critical programmes that
focus on removing blockages, boosting the system, and synergising departmental
contributions. This requires a new, more integrated approach from government
and several of the national programmes are designed to give effect to closer
- Developing effective prevention strategies requires the identification and
analysis of the range of factors that give rise to each crime problem;
- Primary responsibilities for the implementation of the strategy rests with
line departments at various levels of government. In this regard, existing
capacity within line departments must be prioritised to meet the overall
objectives of the NCPS. This may require the development of new capacity and
the use of outside resources and expertise;
- Consultation with civil society around crime prevention should aim to give
effect to the contribution that can potentially be made from civil society.
8.1 National Roles And Responsibilities
The Ministry for Safety and Security has been tasked with ensuring the success
of the NCPS. Several mechanisms, which involve the Directors General of
national departments, appropriate Ministers, as well as support structures, are
being established to review departmental plans in order to ensure that the
necessary planning, budgeting and the redirection of resources takes place in
support of the NCPS.
The Directors General will also be responsible for monitoring implementation of
the various aspects of the NCPS and reporting progress to their Ministers.
The NCPS co-ordinating mechanism will be responsible for communicating the NCPS,
both within government and publicly. Such communication is vital if all the
role players are to play their roles in this vital project.
8.2 Provincial Roles
It is the view of the National Government that Provincial Government has a key
role to play, both in the development of provincial crime prevention
strategies, as well as in the mobilising of multi-agency and citizen resources
in aid of crime prevention efforts.
Provincial Summits are being organised in each province, and will provide an
anchor point both for the development of considered feedback on the NCPS, and
the development of integrated provincial plans based on the National Strategy.
Close co-ordination and joint planning is necessary between the national
mechanisms and the provinces. These will be co-ordinated through the
Inter-Governmental Forum as well as through various MINMEC fora.
8.3 Local Government Roles
Recognising that local authorities, especially those in urban areas, have a
central role to play in crime prevention, local governments will be encouraged
both to review and refine this NCPS, and to implement local crime prevention
The exact strategies and mechanisms that local governments adopt should be based
on local crime prevention priorities and should preferably fit within the
four-pillar framework set out in this document.
It is vital that local government structures acquire the necessary skills to
engage with crime prevention issues and develop the required capacity to drive
crime prevention projects.
The National Crime Prevention Strategy represents a turning point in the battle
against crime. This strategy is a truly South African product, which is rooted
in the reality of our society. For it to fully succeed it requires the support
of all South Africans who no longer wish to be victims or to live in fear.
The strategy is based on the view that we need to build a new society, rather
than simply normalise something which was never normal. The magnitude of the
challenge should not be under-estimated. It requires commitment, clarity of
vision and leadership from within all national government institutions,
provincial and local government, and participation by civil society.
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