Lwandle crime statistics alarms

2019-09-19 06:01

The murder rate in the Lwandle precinct has increased over the year to 61 incidents according to the latest statistics.

This is an increase of three cases (58) compared to 2017-’18 stats released by the Minister of Police, Bheki Cele.

The 2018-’19 statistics released by Cele last Thursday (12 September) show this is the second-highest murder rate since 2009-’10.

The highest murder rate was recorded in 2016-’17, with 66 murders.

Attempted murder cases have also jumped to 27 reported cases, compared to 23 in the previous statistics.

This is also the second highest rate after the 34 cases reported in 2015-’16.

Assault with the intent to inflict grievous bodily harm has sky rocketed to 299 cases reported this year, compared to 277 reported in previous statistics.

This is the highest rate since statistics released for 2009-’10. It is followed by 293 in 2015-’16 and 292 in 2016-’17.

The statistics also showed a significant increase in the number of carjackings, malicious damage to property and common robbery.

Carjacking recorded in 2017-18 stood at 29, compared to 39 in 2018-19.

Malicious damage to property was at 156 in 2017-18, compared 191 in 2018-19.

Sergeant Mthokozisi Gama, Lwandle police spokesperson, said a significant number of murders were as the result of alcohol-related incidents.

He blamed non-compliance from taverns or liquor outlets as the contributing factors on these issues.

“As the police we can raid these taverns, but there’s a certain process we have to follow, such as reporting to the liquor board, which issues these licences,” Gama said. “If liquor outlets can stick to the terms of their licence, such as vigilantly observing closing times, and not letting people simply continue with their drinking in their establishments, to a large extent these incidents will be avoided.”

He said police have on numerous occasion insisted that patrons be searched when they enter these establishments and ensure no children are present or allowed to buy alcohol.

“But these problems persist, and when crime occurs it must be placed squarely on the shoulders of the owners,” Gama said. “Even carjackings occur outside these drinking places.”

Gama said it was always advisable for residents to try and resolve issues amicably, rather than resort to violence.

He said victims of domestic violence needed to “speak out more”, as many of these lead to murder.

Siya Macaula, chairperson of the Community Policing Forum (CPF) in the area, said the forum welcomed that stats, even though they do paint a bleak picture of the situation in South Africa.

“The stats indicate clearly that SA is a violent society, and crime has increased drastically in the province,” he said.

“Our station is still not considered a priority station, so crime stats are low which, to a person who stays in Lwandle, does not necessarily reflect reality.”

Macaula said the involvement of communities in fighting crime was fundamental as police alone will not be able fight the scourge of crime.

“Stations may have as many police personnel they need, or police may well have been put in every corner of our society, but crime will still increase,” he said. “I strongly believe communities have a role to play because criminals live among us.”

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