Alcohol abuse plays big part in crime

2015-11-11 06:00
PREMIER SYLVIA LUCAS during the release of the latest Northern Cape crime statistics.

PREMIER SYLVIA LUCAS during the release of the latest Northern Cape crime statistics.

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MUNICIPALITIES are urged to strongly enforce its by-laws, as the successful fighting of crime can only be achieved through a strong partnership between local and provincial government.

That was emphasised by the Northern Cape premier, Sylvia Lucas, during the release of the South African Police Service’s (SAPS) Northern Cape crime statistics.

The statistics was released by the new provincial commissioner, Lt. Gen. Richard Shivuri, at the Kimberley Police Station this week.

The statistics indicated that there had been an increase in the overall crime rate in the province.

In making this statement Lucas tried to give an explanation of why small developing towns like Postmasburg, Kathu, Olifantshoek and Port Nolloth experienced an increase in crime for the year 2014’Z15.

“I am convinced that the increase in crime in a small town clearly means that there is growth in the area.

“Striving for a better life means dealing with unintended consequences,” she said.

She also urged the SAPS to put interactive crime prevention programmes into action in all areas.

According to the Northern Cape statistics, the overall crime rate in the province showed a decrease in 2009Z’10 during the World Cup and was increasing again in 2014Z’15.

Contact crime showed a decrease of 0,5% in 2013Z’14 and was down to 0,3% in 2014Z’15, and property-related crime increased by 1,1% in 2015.

Contact crime has also showed an overall increase of 4% in the current financial year due to cases reported in different municipalities.

The increase, according to the deputy provinical commissioner, Maj. Gen. Henriette de Waal, was aggravated by the rate of alcohol intake.

It indicated that the incidents happened between Saturday afternoons and Sunday when people were socialising.

This also led to the increase in the number of cases related to drinking and driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

She highlighted that police stations like De Aar, Kathu and Prieska had not experienced any decrease in reported murder cases for the last two years, unlike Port Nolloth, which showed a decrease in 2013, then an increase in 2014Z’15.

The highest number of murder cases were reported at the Galeshewe, Roodepan and Kuruman Police Stations.

Postmasburg also showed an increase due to the growth in population and activities.

De Waal further revealed that housebreaking had shown an increase of 11,8%.

Most of these incidents happened when burglars entered the houses when the occupants were asleep or when they entered the house under false pretenses.

“The burglars usually steal items like laptops, jewellery and money,” she added.

Burglaries into empty houses in Kimberley had also increased by 3,2%. Theft of motor vehicles increased by 1,9%.

Shoplifting is reported to have shown a decrease in towns like De Aar, Hartswater and Kuruman due to the pro-active measures taken by shop owners.

Shivuri emphasised that identified hotspot like Galeshewe, Kimberley, Roodepan, Mothibistad, Kakamas, Kathu, Warrenton, Postmasburg, Hartswater and Barkly-West were responsible for 41% of all the crimes in the province

“We are going to focus on 17 priority crimes and will also attend to capacity building of those affected station commanders.”

The MEC for Transport, Safety and Liaison, Martha Bartlett, said it has not solely the responsibility of government to fight crime, but the responsibility of everyone.

“We all have to feel safe, regardless of where we are,” added Bartlett.

She emphasised that crime is fuelled by people’s life-styles and by the environment within which they conducted their daily activities.

“Some of those who got involved in crime are people who never received any sense of love and warmth when they were brought up.

“They grew up in an environment where there are alcohol abuse, domestic violence, hatred and where children are not properly supervised.

“We are all victims and creators of crime.”

She said it was important that shebeens and taverns were monitored.

She added that it is important that members of the police service be motivated to do their job with pride and to wear their uniform with dignity.

She called on police officers to act with restraint.

“Do not shoot when it is not necessary to do so. And when it is necessary to shoot, you must think and think again before shooting a person.”

The ANC is concerned that there has been an increase in the overall crime statistics in the province.

According to provincial ANC secretary, Zamani Saul, crime will always surface where there is economic development.

He said it was therefore necessary that the SAPS speedily implemented their plan of action. This entails addressing the increase in contact crimes, property-related and other serious crimes.”

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