Western Cape Violent Crimes Up, Police Must Explain
Media Release by Dan Plato, Western Cape Minister of Community Safety
Today, September 19, the National Minister of Police and National Commissioner released the annual crime statistics. These statistics are a reflection of the South African Police Service’s (SAPS) performance in combatting crime and protecting and securing the inhabitants of our province and country. The increases in violent crime are cause for concern.
That is why the Western Cape Cabinet will be requesting Western Cape Police Commissioner, Lieutenant-General Arno Lamoer, and his top brass to appear before it and explain why they have failed to arrest crime in the Western Cape and what they are going to do to remedy the situation. The people of this province deserve these answers.
The key indicators have shown an increase when compared to last year, while others have shown a decrease. Out of 28 crime categories, 22 have shown dramatic increases – this is simply unacceptable.
|Murder||2 300||2 580||+ 12.2%|
|Attempted Murder||2 328||3 280|
|Aggravated Robbery||13 788||16 738||+ 21.4%|
|Illegal Possession of Firearm||2 395||2 907||+ 21.4%|
|Cash in transit robbery||14||30||+ 114.3%|
|Robbery at residential premises||1 344||1 647||+ 22.5%|
|Robbery at non-residential premises||1 567||1 934||+ 23.4%|
|Total Sexual Offences||9 153||8 776||+ 13.5%|
|Driving under the influence of alcohol/ drugs||17 534||15 167||- 13.5%|
Figure 1: Crime patterns for the Western Cape
However, the Western Cape, despite these increases, has comparatively fared much better than other provinces such as Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape which have experienced higher numbers of cases reported (see table below)
|Western Cape||Gauteng||Estern Cape||KwaZulu-Natal|
|Murder||2 580||2 997||3 344||3 629|
|Attempted Murder||3 280||3 609||1 768||3 855|
|Assault GBH||24 519||40 793||27 880||28 897|
|Sexual Offences||8 776||12 288||9 567||12 405|
|House Robbery||1 647||6 607||1 726||4 119|
|Non Residential Robbery||1 934||5 010||1 949||2 353|
|Carjacking||789||4 952||695||2 427|
Reported Cases 2012/2013
Crime statistics provide a measure of success of policing, but they are also a valuable tool for responding to crime patterns and directing valuable resources to where they are most needed. This can only be done by having access to statistics on a more regular basis, so that various role-players such as other government departments and civil society can respond to the changing crime patterns and help to prevent crime.
Not only are we not given access to crime statistics, we are also not given any information to indicate where problematic areas are. The national police commissioner today singled out socio economic problems and the need for partners. The WCG, which has no operational control over the SAPS, is doing everything it can to address socio-economic problems (see here http://www.westerncape.gov.za/gc-news/97/26496), and contribute to crime prevention and assisting SAPS, but we are hamstrung without information which would allow us to be more responsive to the needs that exist.
We also need a capable partner to fight crime. Increasingly our oversight interventions, many of which have been strongly opposed by SAPS management, show that the police are not able to effectively tackle specific crimes that affect the Western Cape.
While police have said that they are committed to combatting drug and gang crimes, the specialised units have not been re-established and our watching briefs are showing that SAPS are failing to bring criminals to justice in many gang related cases.
Given the results made public today, the Western Cape Cabinet will be asking General Lamoer and his top management to appear before it as soon as possible. Among other matters that will be interrogated, Cabinet will be asking the police:
- The reasons for the increases in violent crimes
- Which areas are the most problematic and why
- Given the increases in crime last year, what interventions SAPS has implemented to reduce murder and attempted murder in the last six months as they have been aware of this for months already (something this government and the rest of the Western Cape has not)
Spokesperson for Minister Plato
Cell: 072 623 4499