Limpopo safest province
Tshwarelo eseng Mogakane
Polokwane - Limpopo has less crime than the rest of South Africa's eight provinces, despite having fewer policemen.
The South African Institute of Race Relations (SAIRR)'s latest provincial review of Fast Facts revealed that there was one policeman for every 528 people living in Limpopo.
“The most recent SAIRR provincial review found that despite having the worst ratio of police officials per population, Limpopo was the safest province,” said SAIRR researcher, Kerwin Lebone, on Monday.
Lebone was referring to a report by SAIRR provincial outreach officer, Gail Eddy, that showed the difference in crime levels for the country's provinces. The statistics were gathered by the SAIRR between 1994 and March 2009.
He said Limpopo had the lowest murder, rape, aggravated robbery (including the use of weapons), burglary from residential premises and motor vehicle theft, in comparison to the other provinces.
It was also found that Limpopo had the second lowest burglary at business premises and the third lowest rate of stock theft.
Eddy's report also revealed that Limpopo had 13 murders, 52 rapes, 45 aggravated robberies, 220 residential burglaries and 23 motor vehicle thefts per 100 000 people.
Most murders in Western Cape
“The Western Cape had the second-best ratio of people per police official, at 300 people per police officer. However, the province had the highest rate of murder and burglary at both residential and business premises,” said Lebone.
He said Gauteng province had the fourth best ratio of people to police, at one police officer for 349 people.
Lebone said, however, that Gauteng had the highest rates of aggravated robbery and motor vehicle theft in the country.
The report wasn't very complimentary about Limpopo police's crime fighting tactics, instead attributing the low crime levels to a high level of poverty.
Lebone said Limpopo was one of the poorest provinces in the country, with the second lowest Gross Geographic Product (GGP) per head.
“This would seem to indicate that the crime rates of the provinces are affected by how wealthy the region is, rather than the ratio of police officials,” he added.
The report, which was released late last month, does not mention Mpumalanga.