Cele calls on police to be tough on criminals

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Police Minister Bheki Cele has again called on the men and women in blue to be tough on criminals. Cele says the country’s high crime levels are an indication that criminals have declared a war against citizens.

He was speaking during the National Congress of Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (Popcru).

Popcru members have converged in Durban to discuss new ways of dealing with criminality and elect the union’s new leadership.

An exodus of experienced members, lack of progression, and killing of police are just some of the issues raised.

“People say we are calling for a war, we are not calling for a war, we found the war in the way. For the first time here two weeks ago I buried a member of the NIU. These criminals, they are taking us on so it’s no use of taking a step back,” says Cele.

Video: POPCRU 10th National Congress – Minister Bheki Cele addresses the congress

The out-going President of Popcru Dr Zizamele Cebekhulu conceded that the performance of police in the fight against crime is not adequate. However, the lack of resources and manpower are just some of the factors that affected the police’s effectiveness.

“It’s the pressure they face on the streets where people are being killed where robbers enter into their homes and do all sorts of things when they enter there in the manner in which they are not free, when they walk on the streets is what is worrying,” says Cebekhulu.

Cele calls on communities to support the police in their fight against all forms of crime. The five-day conference is expected to end on Friday.