KZN sees spike in aggravated robberies

2014-09-20 00:00

A SPATE of violent home invasions in recent weeks coincides with a spike in aggravated robbery in the province.

As many as 21 040 incidents of aggravated robbery were reported in KwaZulu-Natal in the 2013/2014 period with a sharp rate rise of 4,2%.

While brazen house robberies indicate an escalation in violence and force, individual instances of burglary dropped by 4,2% with over 44 000 cases opened.

On Thursday a Durban North woman was stabbed repeatedly when a gang of men forced their way into her Fairway Drive home.

Two weeks ago, a prominent Durban wedding planner was gunned down in a house robbery gone awry.

Stephen John Edmonstone (62) was felled by gunfire when he interrupted armed men who had forced their way into his Umgeni Park home.

Gareth Newham, head of the ISS governance, crime and justice division said that police need to focus on tackling aggravated robbery.

“Robberies create fear and feelings of insecurity because they involve direct attacks by armed criminals in the streets, in homes and at places of work.

“The continued increase in robbery means the police urgently need to focus on a coherent national anti-robbery strategy for tackling armed criminals,” Newham said.

“This will require the police to address the problems facing the crime intelligence division that has substantially reduced its productivity over the past two years,” he said.

Suncell Community Crime-watch head, Craig Adendorff, said a marked increase in violence was notable. “What we see in the statistics is reflected by what’s happening on the ground. Home invasions are becoming more violent …”

• jeff.wicks@witness.co.za

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