Drugs and alcohol have been identified as common factors in crimes committed against children, Minister of Women, Children and Persons with Disabilities, Noluthando Mayende-Sibiya, said in Johannesburg on Thursday.
Mayende-Sibiya said her department was compiling a report on people convicted of child murders, which she believed would help the department isolate sectors contributing to these crimes.
"While we finalise this work, it is becoming apparent that the use of drugs and alcohol abuse are the most common factors identified amongst people who have been convicted of these crimes.
Govt intensifying response
"Therefore, government will be intensifying its response in dealing with the drug trade and youth. We will also intensify enforcement of existing restrictions with regard to access to alcohol and also highlight the negative effects of alcohol abuse."
She said the department would highlight the negative impact of alcohol abuse through various means such as messages on the containers of alcohol beverages.
Mayende-Sibiya said the re-establishment of the Child Protection and Sexual Offences Unit within the SA Police Service would be a major step towards preventing and ensuring successful resolution of
"Our courts should play their role in ensuring that the provisions of the Minimum Sentencing Act are applied accordingly."
She called on parents to be more involved in trying to prevent these crimes.
In most instances of rape and murder of children it was discovered that they were committed by people known to the children and their family, Mayende-Sibiya said. – (Sapa, July 2009)
How to make kids crime-conscious