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