Police Minister Bheki Cele says drone policing will begin in the near future. The Minister has disputed that a number of officers might lose their jobs because of the implementation of drones to enhance policing.

This follows the announcement by National Police Commissioner General Khehla Sitole that there will be a considerable reduction of the police force after the adoption of drone policing.

In an exclusive interview with SABC News, Cele said they’ve started talks with major cities.

“In South Africa we have spoken with the big cities, it is called the smart cities or the smart safe cities, we have spoken with Durban already, the Cape Town and Johannesburg because it’s supposed to be a combination of all state levels starting from the province, national and the city. And not in a very distant future, we will be able to put  the city in one place and be able to respond accordingly.”

Cele says members of the police force will be shifted to rural areas.

“The main element of policing is visibility. It doesn’t matter what the technology does and all that. Technology does not respond, technology does not arrest, it helps you make your life easy but people that will have to implement all those outcomes of the technology are the police but besides, we are not going to have this revolution of the smart cities all over, there will be areas that will come much slower, the rural areas, so you shift your personnel there.”

In the video below, Cele releases crime statistics:

On Friday, the police leaders released the latest crime statistics, which revealed an increase in murders in South Africa by 1.4%. More than 21 000 people were killed in the past financial year, which amounts to 58 people a day. Sexual offences are also up, by 800 cases.

The Institute for Security Studies (ISS) said targeted interventions were needed to reduce the high levels of murder and armed robbery in South Africa. Head of Justice and Violence Prevention Programme at the ISS, Gareth Newham, says police need to use the available capabilities to analyse the factors driving murders at hotspots as this might reduce murder quite substantially.