Greater cohesion is required to combat crime
The third quarter crime statistics, which were released yesterday, clearly indicate that there is a need for all spheres of government and society as a whole to work together, if we are to be effective in our crime fighting efforts. It is critical that we use data and evidence to inform our work. If we are to make a tangible impact, we need to devolve policing to the lowest possible and practical level so that the decision-making can be directly related to the communities that they serve.
The crime statistics for 1 October 2022 – 31 December 2022, show that there were 1 198 murders recorded in the Western Cape. This is 142 (13,4%) more cases when compared to the same period of the previous year.
The ongoing gang violence, which resulted in 229 (19%) murders, along with the combined category of arguments/misunderstanding/road rage/provocation, which account for 19,9% of murders, are the major contributors to the murder rate in the Western Cape.
Eight (8) Western Cape South African Police Services (SAPS) stations are on the list of the top 30 murder stations in the country. Of these, Khayelitsha showed a decrease of 11,11%, while the other 7 had increases. These increases occurred at Mfuleni (56,1%), Delft (6,17%), Nyanga (54,55%), Kraaifontein (20%), Harare (23,4%), Gugulethu (6,38%) and Mitchells Plain (55,56%). In addition to this, there were 130 victims of multiple murders which resulted in 60 dockets being opened. This consists of:
- 51 cases which had 2 victims,
- 1 case of 3 victims and
- 1 case of 4 victims.
Western Cape Minister of Police Oversight and Community Safety, Reagen Allen said: “This report paints a grim picture and is gut wrenching. It presents us with an opportunity to take stock and review our methodologies and the impact thereof. While I am still deeply concerned, I am encouraged by the decrease in Khayelitsha, particularly since the area has been plagued by mass killings. It is clear that criminal elements are monitoring and studying our operations in order to adapt their illicit activities. We will be convening an urgent engagement with relevant stakeholders to interrogate these results. As much as the law enforcement component will be discussed, there will also be a particular focus on violence prevention. We will also continue to amend the operations of our 1 200 Law Enforcement Advancement Programme (LEAP) officers that work in partnership with the City of Cape Town, so that they respond directly to the current needs.”
Minister Reagen Allen continued: “There is some good news, and that is while there were 11 murders in farming communities across the country, none of these murders occurred in the Western Cape. The various stakeholders that have been playing a significant role in increasing rural safety are commended for their efforts. It is vital that this is sustained. I am certain that there are lessons to be learned from the various rural communities that can be adopted elsewhere.”
“We are not blind to the fact that we still have a long way to go. We have made significant strides and will not let these results discourage us. Instead, we are now even more determined to bring about a positive turnaround in the crime statistics. I implore all sectors of society to work with us, so that we not only halve the murder rate by 2029, but that we ensure safer and dignified communities where all can live in, without fear,” concluded Minister Reagen Allen.