Rise in Mpuma murders concerning - MEC

2014-09-24 14:41

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Johannesburg - The 16.4% rise in Mpumalanga's murder rate was of grave concern, Community Safety MEC Vusi Shongwe said on Tuesday.

"The figure is even more that the national murder rate," Shongwe said in a speech prepared for delivery at a media briefing on the province's crime statistics for April 2013 to March 2014.

"Cluster stations such as Witbank, Pienaar, Acornhoek, KwaMhlanga, Middelburg and Secunda collectively contributed about 55% to the total number of contact crimes reported for the period under review."

According to the 2013/2014 crime statistics released on Friday, the national murder rate had increased by 5%.

Contact crimes were murder, attempted murder, sexual offences, assault with an intention to cause grievous bodily harm (GBH), common assault, aggravated robbery and common robbery.

"We have been encouraged by decreases in the sexual offences category. Assault with intention to do GBH and common assault have decreased. Incidences relating to common robbery have also gone down," the MEC said.

"We have observed that most contact crimes take place among people who know each other and that are why it is difficult to police this type of crime."

Alcohol and drug abuse seemed to be contributing towards the committing of most contact crimes.

The MEC said most contact crimes happened over weekends, around midnight, with them also linked to liquor stores.

"We are going to monitor liquor traders' compliance with their operating licences and those who are not complying will have their establishments closed," Shongwe said.

He said the latest crime stats were not only just numbers, but an indication of the level of violence that communities in Mpumalanga were still subjected to.

"They are also an indication that we still have a lot of work to do with regard to defeating criminality in our country and province in particular."

Protests

Contact-related crimes, such as arson and malicious damage to property, had declined, and Shongwe said the province could have done better were it not for sporadic service delivery protests.

"It is against this background that my department will convene all stakeholders to [a] peace and stability indaba that will be held in the current financial year," he said.

"We are concerned about the protests that are ravaging our province and will not keep quiet about the matter."

Property-related crimes remained stable, with a slight decrease in business and residential burglaries, motor vehicle and cycle theft, theft from motor vehicles, and stock theft.

Other types of theft, which included all theft not otherwise stated, commercial crime and shoplifting, had decreased.

Crimes dependent on police action for detection included illegal possession of firearms and ammunition, drug-related crimes, and driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Illegal possession of firearms and ammunition had increased.

Looking at sub categories of aggravated robbery, cash-in-transit robberies had increased while truck hijackings had increased significantly.

Carjacking had also increased slightly, while robbery in residential and non-residential areas had decreased marginally.

Read more on:    vusi shongwe  |  mbombela  |  crime  |  crime stats 2014

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