It is quite alarming to find out that there is steady increase in the number of unlicensed firearms in circulation, as well as their use in violent crimes.
On Monday, Francois Beukman, chairman of the parliamentary portfolio committee on police, expressed serious concerns about violent crimes committed with firearms that may have been unlicensed and prompted the police to investigate these cases.
“More than 800 firearms have been lost or stolen from police officers and more than 18 000 firearms of members of the public are lost or stolen in the 2017 -18 financial year,” Beukman said.
He called on firearm owners and law enforcement agencies to ensure that firearms are kept safe at all times.
This comes after four people – including Luyanda Mbele, the ward councilor of Bloekombos in Kraaifontein – were shot dead in two separate incidents in Cape Town last weekend. Another councilor was shot dead in Umlazi, KwaZulu-Natal last week.
Beukman also recommended that the police prioritize five steps to combat the increase in unlicensed firearms.
He once again suggested that more resources for the Hawks specialized units, which focus on unlicensed firearms, should be made available, more projects and operations must be initiated by crime intelligence to deal with firearms smuggling through crime indicators, stricter controls should be applied at the cages of the police and police offices as well as at the arms of the army.
Closer cooperation with other countries in the Southern African Development Community must be ensured to counteract the inflow of large-caliber automatic weapons in the region.
Read the original article in Afrikaans on Netwerk 24