The latest crime statistics are cold comfort to residents of the Eastern Cape who daily live in fear of the criminal element that stalks our communities, and highlights the dire need for a complete overhaul of the SAPS.
The crime statistics released yesterday show that the bloody wave of violent crime continues to sweep through the Eastern Cape.
Murder has risen by a staggering 5.2% (up from 3,628 to 3,815), meaning on average more than 10 people are being murdered each day in the province.
Also damning is that the Eastern Cape has the second highest recorded murders for women and children, after Kwazulu Natal, with 550 women and 180 children murdered.
Other violent crimes that strike fear into the heart of people are all on the increase, including attempted murders (up 5.8%) sexual assault (up 0.5%) robbery at residential premises (up 0.6%), robbery at non-residential (up 1.1%) and car hijackings (up 4.6%).
The Eastern Cape has five of the top 30 stations in terms of murder, with Mthatha 9th on the list, with an increase of 26% (from 127 to 160); Bethelsdorp at 13th, up 8.5% (from 117 to 127), Kwazakhele at 17th spot up 1% (103 to 104) Lusikisiki at 22nd down 15.7% (from 115 to 97) and Ngqeleni at 28th, up 26.8% (from 71 to 90).
Gelvandale takes top spot for attempted murders across all stations nationally, with a 17.8% increase in cases (up from 225 to 265) while Bethelsdorp is 4th, with a staggering increase of 51.1% (up from 133 to 201).
This reflects the ongoing gang violence and the dire need for the new police station in the Bethelsdorp area to be built as a matter of urgency.
While we welcome the fact that burglary stats are down (2.6% for residential and 4% for non-residential) for the province, I am sceptical that this is a true reflection, as I feel residents have simply given up reporting cases to the police.
It is clear that SAPS is under-resourced, under-trained, under-equipped and under-staffed which is why the battle to keep the people of the Eastern Cape safe, is being lost.
The SAPS need to get their priorities right, and shouldn’t be spending over R2.8 billion, or R9.1 million per VIP compared to R1,500 spent to protect the average citizen of South Africa.
Funds spent to protect politicians could be better used to buy vehicles that can be used for patrolling, and increasing manpower so that we have more boots on the ground where they are most needed.
The DA will continue to fight for a province that is safe and secure, where children can play in the streets and women are not living in fear.
A DA-government will make our police service an honest, professional organisation that serves and protects all South Africans.
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