• Although our paths regularly cross with those of homeless people, we seldom think about them as potential vulnerable victims of serious crime. Read more about the in-depth article about how they are affected from p 44 in Servamus: February 2018.

    Although our paths regularly cross with those of homeless people, we seldom think about them as potential vulnerable victims of serious crime. Read more about the in-depth article about how they are affected from p 44 in Servamus: February 2018.

  • Ever thought about the fact that those who are falsely accused of crime are also victims? We explore the impact of these false allegations on these victims and look at the trauma of serving time when you are innocent in an article published from p 28 in Servamus: February 2018.

    Ever thought about the fact that those who are falsely accused of crime are also victims? We explore the impact of these false allegations on these victims and look at the trauma of serving time when you are innocent in an article published from p 28 in Servamus: February 2018.

  • Members of Flying Squads often arrive first at crime scenes to confront dangerous criminals. This month we pay tribute to the hardworking heroes of the Johannesburg Flying Squad and introduce their commander. Refer to the article from p 50 in Servamus: February 2018.

    Members of Flying Squads often arrive first at crime scenes to confront dangerous criminals. This month we pay tribute to the hardworking heroes of the Johannesburg Flying Squad and introduce their commander. Refer to the article from p 50 in Servamus: February 2018.

  • Many victims of crime choose not to report the incident to the police. We explore the reasons why; find out whether it is a situation unique to South Africa and look at the consequence of non-reporting of crime in an article published from p 10 in Servamus: February 2018.

    Many victims of crime choose not to report the incident to the police. We explore the reasons why; find out whether it is a situation unique to South Africa and look at the consequence of non-reporting of crime in an article published from p 10 in Servamus: February 2018.

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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 - February 2018

In high profile cases such as that of the Modimolle monster or Oscar Pistorius, the public heard, through the media, what impact the violent crime had on the victim and their families.
By Kotie Geldenhuys
People sleeping on sheets of cardboard under dirty old blankets on pavements or on dark park benches are a familiar sight when driving through the suburbs late at night.
By Kotie Geldenhuys
“You were wearing a low cut, short mini dress, what did you expect?” Those are often the first words a rape victim hears when she tells someone from whom she trusted to get support, after she was raped by a friend at a party.
By Kotie Geldenhuys
If you have been the victim of a property-related crime such as a housebreaking, stay in an urban area or have relatively easy access to a police station, chances are very good that you will report it to the police.
By Annalise Kempen

Pollex - February 2018

Read More - Solidarity [Trade Union] [on behalf of Sgt Armand] Gerber v SAPS and Others (C381/17) [2017] ZALCCT 36 (11 August 2017)*
This is a judgment of the Cape Town Labour Court which began when Sgt Gerber approached the court. Sgt Gerber suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as a result of a traumatic event in the course of his duty as a member of the SAPS.
Towards the end of 2017, various news agencies reported a story about a female university student from the Eastern Cape who mistakenly received a payment of R14 million instead of R1400 from the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS).
Read More - S V Byleveld 2017 (1) SACR 218 (NWM)
“252A. Authority to make use of traps and undercover operations and admissibility of evidence so obtained
Read More - S V Masoanganye and Others 2015 (2) SACR 577 (NWM)
Five accused persons were convicted and sentenced by a single judge before the High Court in Mahikeng in the North West Province on charges of theft, all in respect of amounts stolen from the Guardian Fund (Afrikaans: “Voogdyfonds”).
Read More - S V Ramoba 2017 (2) SACR353 (SCA)
The accused, who was 33 years of age at the time of sentencing before the regional court in Tzaneen in Limpopo, was convicted on 12 very serious charges whereupon he and his co-accused, were each sentenced to an effective term of 52 years’ incarceration.
These Regulations appear as Government Notice No R 1138, in Government Gazette No 41203 dated 27 October 2017 (“the ‘new’ Regulations”).

Letters - February 2018

A former police member, Lt-Col Mathews Leballo, has since his retirement not forsaken the needs of vulnerable groups.
The management and staff of Evaton SAPS got to celebrate Christmas on 20 December 2017 with Christmas Carols. The event was blessed by the Provincial Head Office Chaplain Rev Mudau.
A lot of crimes have been committed in 2017 and previously and some of these offenders are regretful of committing criminal acts.
Brig N G (Natty) Govender enlisted into the South African Police with the intention of becoming a motor technician.
According to an article published in the Sunday Times at the end of 2017, the SAPS has splashed out on what are believed the most expensive bulletproof vests in the world.
February 2018 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.