Protests and violent crime increase fuel police killings

Protests and violent crime increase fuel police killings

The murder of a policeman during an ambush in Inanda on Tuesday added to the mounting number of police officers killed in action, with the alarming trend expected to continue a week before the release of the police’s annual report.

Institute for Security Studies researcher Dr Johan Burger said all indications are that the number of police deaths in action would spike, following two years of the ascending trend.

He said that a marked increase in violent crime could be a contributing factor.

“This [police killings] should be viewed against the backdrop of rising levels of crime which has been well publicised. For the first time since 1994, the rate of murder has increased two years in a row.”

“When you look at the rising number of police killed in the line of duty, one must keep in mind they are in the frontline against these violent criminals,” Burger said.

He added that because police are used to quell rampant service delivery protests in certain communities, they often find themselves alienated from the people they are supposed to protect.

“In some areas there has been a deterioration of police and community communication and in some circumstances the police are being used to deal with public service protests and they are unable to deal with the root cause. This causes further alienation.”

“This is quite the opposite of what the police would want to happen, and this is because of their particular deployment,” he said.

Source: News24

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