6 July 2007
Business Against Crime South Africa, backed by over 250 CEOs through its association with the Industry Alignment Forum, has committed itself to an intensified partnership with the government in the fight against crime in the country.
The partnership is starting to make a meaningful impact on violent organised crime, with the business coalition claiming successes in the priority areas of house robberies, vehicle hijacking and business robberies.
Speaking after the release of the 2006/07 crime statistics this week, Business Against Crime CEO Siphiwe Nzimande cited as an example of the progress being made the police-led “flood and flush” operations which had “yielded over 5 400 arrests during the month of January to February.”
By focusing on outstanding warrants and crime scenes, the SA Police Service (SAPS) had identified and arrested 298 suspects in April 2007 alone, Nzimande said, adding that the business-government partnership would ensure that these arrests received priority attention when it came to prosecutions.
Through its partnership with the government, South Africa’s business sector has also completed and adopted minimum standards to regulate the cash-in-transit industry, while developing innovative crime prevention initiatives in the retail environment, particularly at shopping centres.
Other support initiatives mooted by business include a more effective exchange of intelligence between business and the police, micro-dotting of business vehicles for easier identification, and more effective cooperation between the country’s private security firms and police.
Organised business is also considering the design and implementation of improved cash management and the upgrading of close circuit television systems countrywide to support law enforcement and prosecution.
The partnership between the government and Business Against Crime was strengthened further with the launch earlier this year of the Anti-Crime Leadership Forum, comprising four working groups co-chaired by government and business leaders.
According to Nzimande, the working groups, whose task it is to come up with tangible crime-fighting initiatives, are busy finalising plans to mobilise society to fight crime, to tackle violent organised crime, and to review and improve performance in SA’s criminal justice system.
Nzimande said he was confident that these and other initiatives would yield better results in the months to come, adding that information collected by businesses between April and June “confirms our cautious optimism”.
At the same time, Nzimande said, “sustained work and commitment will be required by all who are dedicated to the anti-crime struggle”.