• Servamus interviewed a few former police members to find out about their “lives after the police” and a community member who joins the fight against crime – especially environmental crime. Read their stories from pp 20-26 in Servamus: November 2017.

    Servamus interviewed a few former police members to find out about their “lives after the police” and a community member who joins the fight against crime – especially environmental crime. Read their stories from pp 20-26 in Servamus: November 2017.

  • With the latest crime statistics being released at the end of October, it sketches a less positive picture. We look at alternative ways in which citizens choose to protect themselves. Read the article from pp 14-19 in Servamus: November 2017.

    With the latest crime statistics being released at the end of October, it sketches a less positive picture. We look at alternative ways in which citizens choose to protect themselves. Read the article from pp 14-19 in Servamus: November 2017.

  • It is always a privilege to participate in awards ceremonies where excellent police work is recognised. Thanks to Trackers individual police members and units have been awarded for their fight against vehicle crime for the 18th time! Read the article from pp 46-49 in Servamus: November 2017.

    It is always a privilege to participate in awards ceremonies where excellent police work is recognised. Thanks to Trackers individual police members and units have been awarded for their fight against vehicle crime for the 18th time! Read the article from pp 46-49 in Servamus: November 2017.

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- Community perceptions, expectations and actions
By Annalise Kempen

Almost 200 years ago, in 1829, the world's first police force was created by Sir Robert Peel. These police members were authorised to protect the citizens of London and were financed by taxpayers. These days, in modern democracies, citizens who are taxpayers and who are therefore funding police agencies, be they national or metropolitan, expect to live in an orderly and peaceful society. In South Africa though, many taxpayers feel that they don't get enough "bang for their money" and mostly do one of two things: they either climb onto the criticism bandwagon (mostly by ranting via social media or by being armchair critics) or they roll up their sleeves and get involved in the fight against crime.

In South Africa, many citizens argue that the state is too weak to fulfil its responsibility of keeping its citizens safe. Their argument is based on our extremely high crime rates, especially when it comes to violent crimes, and people's lack of faith in government and the SAPS to effectively fight crime and create a safe country. The results of the Victims of Crime Survey (VOCS) 2016/2017 (see below) show that households' confidence in police services and courts has been gradually eroding over the years. The vast majority of households (59%), which held negative attitudes about the police, felt that the police could not recover stolen goods, while those that were disgruntled with court services said that courts were too lenient towards criminals. This has led to many individuals and organisations identifying alternative ways to safeguard themselves - mostly either by paying for private security providers; opting for mob justice or establishing variants of neighbourhood watches.

A year ago, on 6 September 2016, the South African Institute for Race Relations (IRR) and the civil rights organisation AfriForum released a report entitled "Winning the war on crime in South Africa: a new approach to community policing". At the time, Ian Cameron, the Head of Community Safety at AfriForum, noted that the Back to Basics approach to policing of (the then) Acting National Commissioner of the SAPS, Lt-Gen Khomotso Phahlane, could only succeed if it was done in conjunction with communities.

South Africa’s crime situation
There is no doubt that South Africa has one of the highest murder rates in the world, with 19 016 murders, at an average of 52.1 murders per day, being committed according to the SAPS's crime statistics for the period 1 April 2016 to 31 March 2017. This indicates a 1.8% increase in murders compared to the previous report year's 18 673 murders.

Murder is one of the few crimes which can be used as a reliable benchmark with which to compare safety and security levels among different countries, since there is relative consistency in its legal definition and it is one of the most widely reported crimes, while different countries have different crime reporting rates and different levels of efficiency when it comes to crime recording. Many analysts prefer to use murder rates as stated per 100 000 of the population for comparison purposes. When murder rates per 100 000 of 2013 are compared between different countries in order to see where South Africa fits into this picture, the situation is as follows:

Honduras - 84.3 : 100 000
El Salvador - 39.8 : 100 000
South Africa - 31.9 : 100 000
United States - 3.8 : 100 000 (www.unodc.org.za)

Even though we agree that no murder can be justified and that South Africa's murder rate is far too high, there has at least been a mostly downward trend during the past 20 years, from 26 877 murders committed during the 1995/1996 report year to the lowest level happening during the 2011/2012 report year, when 15 554 murders were reported.

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[This is only an extract of an article published from p 14 in Servamus: November 2017. The rest of this article look at the Victims of Crime Survey in more details as well as the different alternatives that citizens opt for to keep them safe: private security; mob justice and neighbourhood watches. It concludes with asking whether sustainable alternatives exist to keep us safe? Contact Servamus’s offices to request the rest of this interesting article by sending an e-mail to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by phoning (012) 345 4660/22.]

Servamus - November 2017

Police members who are passionate about making a difference warm my heart.
By Annalise Kempen
Almost 200 years ago, in 1829, the world's first police force was created by Sir Robert Peel.
By Annalise Kempen
In October 2000, a police official was seriously injured when he foiled a bank robbery in the Bedfordview centre near Johannesburg after two men robbed the Standard Bank of a large amount of cash.
By Annalise Kempen
During the first weekend of October 2017, there was a huge outcry on social media following the spreading of a video showing an incident at a supermarket in Gauteng where security officers assaulted a woman while her crying three-year-old toddler bore witness to her mother's ordeal.
By Annalise Kempen

Pollex - November 2017

Section 165 of the Criminal Procedure Act 51 of 1977 (“the CPA”) provides as follows:
Read More - S V Sebofi 2015 (2) SACR 179 (GJ)
Mr Sebofi (the accused) was convicted on two counts of rape by the regional court in Roodepoort (the trial court), and sentenced to life incarceration.
In the case of Jordaan and Others v City of Tshwane Metropolitan Municipality and Others [2017] ZACC 31 (CC), a full bench of 11 judges of our Constitutional Court unanimously declared that, on transfer of property, a new owner is NOT liable for debts (Afrikaans: "skuld") arising BEFORE transfer of the property under section 118(3) of the Local Government: Municipal Systems Act 32 of 2000.
Read More - Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Gauteng v MG 2017 (2) SACR 132 (SCA)
Background Section 57(1) of the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences and Related Matters) Amendment Act 32 of 2007 provides as follows:
In Servamus: June 2015 Pollex briefly referred to two Draft White Papers* that had appeared on 3 March 2015 and on which the public were asked to comment.

Letters - November 2017

Recently, former officers of the SAPS from Pietermaritzburg were invited by officers from Durban to meet at the Japanese Gardens, Durban North, to get to know each other.
Police members from Napier Police Station were busy with crime prevention duties in Sarel Cilliers Street in Napier when a white Nissan Tida, driving at a high speed, passed them around 23:00 on 11 October 2017.
After nearly two years of devotion to a case of aggravated robbery, a Westville SAPS detective secured 15 yearsentences for two accused in a Pinetown court during the end of September 2017.
November 2017 Magazine Cover

Servamus' Mission

Servamus is a community-based safety and security magazine for both members of the community as well as safety and security practitioners with the aim of increasing knowledge and sharing information, dedicated to improving their expertise, professionalism and service delivery standards. It promotes sound crime management practices, freedom of speech, education, training, information sharing and a networking platform.