Crime has no borders – ANC

Among those awaiting sentencing are 606 Mozambicans, 499 Zimbabweans, 182 Nigerians and 114 Tanzanians.
These figures are the only indication of the extent of the involvement of foreigners in crime in South Africa. No official police or other statistics exist on the number of foreign nationals ja

iled for having committed serious crimes rather than just for being illegal immigrants.
Analysts say the dearth of proper statistics makes it difficult to establish whether claims that foreigners are responsible for the majority of serious and organised crimes in South Africa are true or mere speculation.
A study alleging that most foreign criminals were Zimbabwean was released recently by Mike Hough of the University of Pretoria’s Institute for Strategic Studies.
The last time police did a study on the problem was in 1994, when there were found to be 12 670 illegal immigrants involved in serious crimes. The police statistics did not, however, indicate the country of origin of individual criminals, despite such information being included in case dockets.
According to Independent Newspapers reports, Johan Burger of Tshwane University of Technology’s department of policing has acknowledged a common belief among police officers that certain nationalities were associated with particular crimes. Zimbabweans were perceived to be involved in armed bank robberies and cash-in-transit heists while Mozambicans tended to be car hijackers.
Jackie Selebi, the national police commissioner, was quoted as saying it was no longer easy to distinguish whether certain crimes were committed by foreigners or not, because non-South African criminals had merged with their South African
counterparts.
“It is no longer easy to distinguish. There are people from outside, but they have merged with South Africans. These criminals are working together; they share the spoils, help one another and help each other where they do not have skills. It is a worrying phenomenon,” Selebi said.
ANC national executive committee member and deputy home affairs minister Malusi Gigaba said in an article published on the ANC website that the recent spate of crimes allegedly committed by foreigners had turned attention towards the relationship between immigrants and crime.
“The criminals who are foreign nationals have touched a raw nerve among many South Africans and prompted the worst in them, raising the real fear that we may begin, unless we are careful and pre-emptive, to see xenophobic violence and related intolerance,” Gigaba said.
“Crime has no borders. It requires cross-border solutions and co-operation
between countries. The police service must establish strong, corruption-free relations with migrant communities to assist in rooting out the criminal element among them. Immigrant groups in South Africa must undertake their own responsibility willingly to offer such cooperation with the police, bearing in mind that criminals do all migrants a major disservice and imperil their stay in South Africa.”

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