Crime Stoppers conference addresses criminality

Crime Line head Yusuf Abramjee and Crime Stoppers International (CSI) president Alex Mc Donald sign the Cape Town declaration at the event. Pic: Crime Line.

Crime Line head Yusuf Abramjee and Crime Stoppers International (CSI) president Alex Mc Donald sign the Cape Town declaration at the event. Pic: Crime Line.

The 35th annual Crime Stoppers International (CSI) Conference – which aims to strengthen partnerships between the public, police and media – has been hailed as a success.

The three-day conference, held in Cape Town, hosted foreign and local delegates with over 50 expert speakers from around the world.

Conference chairperson and Crime Line head Yusuf Abramjee said crime continued to cost economies millions.

“This is especially detrimental to developing countries that more often than not depend on industries such as tourism for their livelihood. High levels of crime are not a drawing card for tourists,” said Abramjee.

“With the rise of globalisation, crime has risen with it. Our communities are becoming more and more vulnerable to criminals that hide behind computers in other countries. Too often criminals are one step ahead of us. They are sophisticated and have an almost endless supply of funds to bankroll their activities.”

Crime statistics released by police indicated that bank robberies increased by 200% in the 2013/2014 financial, while drug-related crimes increased by 26.1%

Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa said the effects of environmental crimes like waste dumping and pollution continued to impact air quality and further burden the public health system as more people become sick and require care.

“Species smuggling and poaching damages the unique and fragile biodiversity that has attracted tourists to our shores for so long,” said Molewa.

Molewa launched the UNEP-GEF Rhino Project last week in a bid to strengthen law enforcement capabilities to combat wildlife crime, with a specific focus on rhinos.

Public Protector Advocate Thuli Madonsela addressed the conference in the week.

“I believe the successful collaboration between a civil society and government is based on appreciating the need for closing the cracks in our societies that only benefit criminals,” said Madonsela.

“I must indicate upfront that our crime [fighting] role as the Public Protector SA transcends our contribution to anti-corruption efforts,” she added.

An official declaration had been signed by Abramjee and CSI President Alex MacDonald to commit and map the way forward for the international collaboration.

– Caxton News Service

US secret service in town to talk crime

National Police Commissioner Riah Phiyega and Crimeline head Yusuf Abramjee at the opening of the Crime Stoppers Conference. Photo: Ross Jansen

National Police Commissioner Riah Phiyega and Crimeline head Yusuf Abramjee at the opening of the Crime Stoppers Conference. Photo: Ross Jansen

Cape Town – The US secret service is in Cape Town. But this time it’s not to track down an American fugitive or bust a local cybercrime syndicate.

Instead, the agency will join a number of organisations and individuals speaking at the Crime Stoppers Conference which begins on Monday morning.

It is the first time the event, now in its 35th year, has been hosted in Africa. According to the organisers, with almost 600 local and international delegates attending, it could be the biggest turn-out the conference has ever had.

The event is the brainchild of Crime Stoppers International (CSI), an organisation set up to give people an anonymous and confidential mechanism to report crime and criminal activity.

CSI president Alex Macdonald said tip-offs had resulted in almost 1 million arrests across the world, with the seizure of more than R110 billion in illicit drugs.

The conference will see 60 top local and foreign speakers cover a variety of topics, from drug trafficking to corruption.

Event chairman and Crimeline head Yusuf Abramjee said on Sunday: “This is the time of the whistle-blower. Crime affects all of us. It doesn’t discriminate and stretches across continents and communities. Crime evolves and criminals adapt and innovate. We have the unenviable task to evolve too and innovate.”

President Jacob Zuma wrote in a statement that tip-offs received via Crime Stop and Crime Line in the past seven years had resulted in 3 280 arrests and the confiscation of more than R56 million worth of illegally or unlawfully obtained property and goods.

The Drug Watch campaign in Gauteng and the Western Cape, which called on residents to keep a watchful eye on their own neighbourhoods, has put 30 000 drug offenders behind bars. But this year’s release of the national crime statistics revealed that drug-related crimes were still on the rise, with the number of cases reported to the police up by almost 20 percent from last year.

 

“If we are to make even more meaningful inroads in the fight against crime, as a people, we need to fully activate our sense of community and each play our role in supporting the law-enforcement officers of South Africa,” said Zuma.

“We must blow the whistle on crime when we are aware of it, whether it happens on a street corner or behind a closed bedroom door.”

Among those speaking during the conference will be Michael Burgin of the US Secret Service. He will touch on the topic of “The Evolution of Cyber Crime”. Earlier this year America’s Homeland Security sent a task team to Joburg to nab a group of alleged online scammers, part of a larger global syndicate operating in and around the US.

The Dutch National Rapporteur on Trafficking of Human Beings and Sexual Violence Against Children will address the global threat of the sex trade, while Stanley Jacobs of the London Community Rehabilitation Company will delve into “Integrated Offender Management”, which seeks to target prolific criminals to break their cycle of crime.

Lieutenant Matthew Zucker of the Las Vegas Metro Police Department will spend an hour chatting about Mexican Drug Cartels. Minister of Environmental Affairs Edna Molewa will deliver an address on the rise of environmental crimes, including wildlife trade and its impact on economies and the ecosystem.

The SAPS section head for the Victim Identification Centre, Brigadier Leonie Ras, will speak about identifying victims in the aftermath of an international disaster, a topical issue following the death of 80 South Africans in a guest house in Nigeria.

The event is a snapshot of the world’s battle with crime. And while there will be significant focus on the problems within South Africa’s borders – officials from the Hawks and other police units will make up various panels during the conference – it would be a chance to network and share experiences and expertise, said the national police commissioner, General Riah Phiyega.

“Crime and criminal activity is not unique to any one country or nation. Many crime trends, and certainly most organised syndicates, do not operate within the confines of borders.

“Let us all open our minds while participating in the various discussions and ensure that we share best practices and experiences,” Phiyega said.

The conference is taking place at the Cape Town International Convention Centre and will run until Wednesday.

Cape Argus

“The Time Has Come to Red Card Criminals” – Abramjee

new-header-D1The 35th Annual Crime Stoppers Conference kicked off in Cape Town on Sunday at the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC).

Welcoming the many candidates from across the globe, Yusuf Abramjee, Head of Crime Line and the conference chairman said South Africa is not a third world dump and is going to host the best conference in the history of Crime Stoppers.

Abramjee’s speech sent a stern warning to criminals that they have nowhere to hide.

“We are going to renew our commitment to fight crime. The time has come to red card criminals. We will fight you at every corner of this country and the globe.”

Abramjee also thanked the local organizing committee for working tirelessly in organizing the conference.

National police commissioner Riah Phiyega also welcomed the delegates from across the world to the conference.

“I wish all delegates from South Africa, the Southern African Region, the African continent and beyond, the very best during the course of the conference. This is the ideal opportunity for like-minded individuals to teach, learn, network and grow with their special areas of expertise and skill.

Phiyega said that people who are aware of crime must report it.

“Somebody, somewhere, someone knows something about crime and therefore that person must come forward and talk about the crime they know and point out the criminal they know. Keeping quiet is not an option.”

“Together we can stop crime,” said Phiyega.

The 35th Annual Crime Stoppers Conference runs from the 12th to the 15th of October.

Faizel Patel, Radio Islam News, 2014-10-13