Crime: sorted

Incoming: Great news from SAPS (The South African Police Service)!

After a weekend which will inevitably be filled with murder, rape, burglary and violence across South Africa, all will be sorted from 10am on Monday, when the police service hold their prayer day. Yippee!

According to the media release:

 The prayer will among other things focus on the following:

  • Safety for police officers
  • Reduction of crime in general
  • Reduction of gender-based violence

But will it work? Well, apparently, yes it will, because they tell us that:

A collective prayer has the power to protect and save police officers and preserve the nation. Police officials are responsible for protecting the community and our prayers can help save our police officials from harm.

It does make you wonder why, given the power that a collective prayer obviously possesses, no-one has come up with this idea before. Why waste time with community intervention, detective work and shooting miners when we could all come together, say a few words and kill all those birds with one stone, thus finding ourselves all leaving in a harmonious utopia?

Except, they have tried this before: last year:

The SAPS’s National Prayer Day is at the SAPS’s Tshwane Training Academy in Pretoria West from 10:00 to 12:30 on Tuesday, 13 August 2013. Employees of the South African Police Service are encouraged to attend this worthy event. It is through the divine intervention of the Almighty that we stay protected and reach our goal in the fight against crime.

Yep – the divine intervention of the Almighty will sort everything out, starting at 10am on the 13th August.
So, how did that work out for them, then? Well, here are a few lines from a synopsis of the crime stats released last week:

  • For the first time in 20 years the number of murders and the murder rate has increased for a second consecutive year.
  • This means that there were 809 more people murdered than in the previous year.
  • There has been an increase in all categories of robbery over the past year.
  • Vehicle hijacking increased by 12.3% to 11,221 incidents. This means that 31 motor vehicles were hijacked every day on average in 2013/14.

Oops. And, tragically:

Between 1 April 2013 and 31 March 2014 a total 68 police officers were killed in the line of duty.

So, one has to ask where this confidence in the power of the prayer “to protect and save police officers and preserve the nation” has come from?
Perhaps, like the big guy upstairs that their prayers are aimed at, it’s all just made up.

The media is cordially invited to attend the prayer service.

No thanks.

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