Crime targeting children a concern

2012-09-21 00:00

KZN Community Safety MEC Willies Mchunu welcomed the drop in major crime in the province, but he’s not about to sleep easy.

While attributing the progress to good work by the police and a strong partnership with the community, he said serious attention and intervention was still needed in some areas. Mchunu said he was particularly concerned about high crime areas like kwaMashu, Umlazi and Inanda.

He was also worried about crime that continued to target women and children.

The MEC urged rural communities to unite against crime as the statistics showed a 4,6% increase in stock theft and said he was distressed about the 27,3% increase in cases of driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs.

Mchunu vowed that law enforcement agencies would join hands in eliminating transgressions on the road.

uMngeni mayor Mbali Myeni attributed the almost doubling of the murder rate in the town — from 14 to 26 — to an increase in family disputes.

There was a case in Karkloof where a family member gunned down other family members.

Myeni said she was pleased that other crime in the town had decreased, but remained concerned about the deaths through accidents because of people crossing the freeway in Howick West.

She was particularly worried about the increase in drug-related crime. The municipality had partnered with the SAPS in an attempt to curb drug- and alcohol-related crime by doing regular patrols in the area as well as road blocks.

In its reaction, Crime Line echoed that the rise in drug related crimes of 15,6% was a cause for concern. Spokesperson Marisa Oosthuizen said drug syndicates could be defeated if community members, police and other crime watchdogs worked together.

“The decline in car-jacking and house robberies is a step in the right direction, but remains at high levels. We are also very concerned about the rape statistics despite the 1,9% decline.”

KZN Childline said that the sexual crime figures were not a true reflection of what women and children experienced in the province.

Director Linda Naidoo said 45% of Childline’s cases related to sexual abuse of children alone.

She said between 2011 and 2012, Childline’s 12 satellite offices throughout KZN had recorded 3 000 sexual cases on children.

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