UKZN staff and students from the Criminology Discipline within the School of Applied Human Sciences (SAHS) represented the University at the KZN Crime Summit at the Dube Trade Port in Durban.
The event was hosted by KZN Premier Willies Mchunu and MEC for Transport, Community Safety and Liaison, Thomas Mxolisi Kaunda.
Minister of Police Nathi Nhleko delivered the keynote address at the two-day summit which addressed aspects of the economic and social costs of crime, combatting cyber-crime and reducing fraud and corruption.
Also examined were the impact of crime prevention structures in KwaZulu-Natal, behaviour change programmes, offender rehabilitation, community reintegration and safety through environmental design.
Further explored were early warning mechanisms and the enhancement of crime intelligence, political intolerance, violent public protests and combatting taxi-violence.
UKZN’s Professor Shanta Balgobind Singh said of the 2.2 million offences recorded annually by the South African Police Services, only a fraction were investigated and of those only a fraction resulted in conviction and sentencing.
‘One of the main reasons for the inadequate investigation of criminal offences is the lack of human resources. Furthermore, police officials are not updated on the necessary policy and procedures in the investigation of the crime and the crime scene,’ she said.
Singh suggested that a partnership be established between SAPS and UKZN where discussion could take place about offering part-time short courses to police officials. ‘In this manner officials could be updated on the necessary protocols and procedures regarding and advancing the fight against crime,’ she added.