Booze fuels KZN murders

2014-09-20 00:00

THE crime statistics released yesterday show that KZN has the highest murder count of just over 3 600 and high sexual assault rates of almost 12 000.

While the official statistics for local areas were not yet released, Lucas Holtzhausen, from Safe City in Pietermaritzburg, said about 70% of the murders he has encountered in Pietermaritzburg are liquor related and take place in and around taverns or bars.

He also said the majority of sexual assault cases happen behind closed doors outside of camera areas, so it is difficult to prevent them.

According to the Community Police Forum’s (CPF) Gerald Harry, who is in charge of the CBD area, prostitution and common robberies are the major concern this year in the city.

“The prostitutes are still giving us a lot of hassles. Common robberies are also a huge issue. Other than that, the crime rate on the whole in the CBD is not extremely high or out of control.”

Meanwhile, police station commanders and officers from the Pietermaritzburg cluster of the SAPS gathered yesterday at Arthur Blaxall hall to discuss the local crime trends, and look for solutions.

Their presentation, which dealt with crime over the past month only, showed an increase since last year in most categories of crime.

Representatives at the meeting called for more teamwork between the various departments to try to deal with the scourge of crime.

• amil.umraw@witness.co.za

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