Drug-related crimes soar - stats

2012-09-20 19:10
A drug crime scene member removes material used to manufacture drugs, after police confiscated narcotics with an estimated R100m street value in Bryanston. (Lucky Maibi, Beeld)

A drug crime scene member removes material used to manufacture drugs, after police confiscated narcotics with an estimated R100m street value in Bryanston. (Lucky Maibi, Beeld)

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Cape Town - Drug-related crimes have more than doubled in the past eight years, the latest crime statistics showed on Thursday.

Just over 84 000 cases were reported in 2004/5, jumping to 176 307 by March 31 this year.

Noting the year-on-year increase, Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa said: "Drug trafficking must become everybody's concern."

A breakdown of the crime per province showed the Western Cape was the worst affected with 77 609 cases reported in 2011/12.

KwaZulu-Natal had the second highest amount of drug-related crimes (37 415), while 25 949 cases were reported at Gauteng police stations.

Mthethwa said stamping this out required community mobilisation.

"All of society must take part in this national effort and effective systems of interaction with all social partners must be established," he said.

Global challenge

The minister said the nature of drug-related crime needed stronger co-ordination with authorities in other countries.

"We are also strengthening co-operation with our international and regional counterparts to address this global challenge, wherein drug trafficking routes are becoming more and more sophisticated."

Drug and alcohol abuse, followed by interpersonal arguments, were also blamed for more than two thirds of the country's murders.

The number of people arrested for being drunk behind the wheel increased to 69 441, up 2.9% from last year's figure.

Mthethwa said this was disconcerting as many road deaths resulted from drunk driving.

"It is against this disturbing background that we welcomed the National Prosecuting Authority's decision to charge people with murder instead of culpable homicide when death has resulted from car accidents."

- SAPA
Read more on:    nathi mthethwa  |  crime stats  |  narcotics
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