Murder rate increases

2015-10-06 06:00
Grassy Park police has experience increase in murder statistics as was revealed by national police statistics during last week. 

Chevon Booysen

Grassy Park police has experience increase in murder statistics as was revealed by national police statistics during last week. PHOTO: Chevon Booysen

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Grassy Park police station has reported an increase of 68% in attempted murder cases in the past year.

According to the latest crime statistics, 94 cases of attempted murder were reported in the last financial year.

The police also reported 24% more murders in the past year bringing the total to 41 murders, compared to 33 cases in the previous year.

These increases were shared last week when the national crime statistics were revealed.

The station also experienced a reported increase of 62% in the illegal possession of firearms and ammunition with 55 cases reported in the past year to March.

Grassy Park Community Police Forum (CPF) spokesperson Philip Bam says the statistics are “not an improvement by any means”.

“Although the rape figure has decreased (by 30%), we are still sitting with a problem with regard to property crimes. House break-ins are still a huge concern,” he says.

He believes police must change their strategy to a more proactive approach.

“We need to look at how to prevent crimes instead of reacting to them. Property-related crimes result in the elderly suffering because the focus is elsewhere. Police concentrate on gangsterism and drugs and this takes away resources from the ordinary crimes,” Bam explains.

He says he is proud of the station’s successes but wants the police to tackle a problem beforehand so that there “will be no crime to report on”.

“We need to get to a point where police activity is not dictated by criminals. It must the other way around. One example can be where people are selling counterfeit goods right opposite the police station. This shows that these people have no respect for the police and they don’t think much of the law,” Bam says.

Law enforcersHe adds police should enforce the law, especially in terms of gangsterism.

“Being affiliated to a gang is a criminal offence. So if a person is seen with a mark that affiliates him to a gang he should be arrested. It’s what the law dictates,” he says.

Grassy Park station commander Colonel Shawn van Wyk says crime has stabilised despite having the policing precinct expanded.

Asked what the plans are to address the area’s level of crime Van Wyk says they will mobilise the community and encourage more community involvement.

Van Wyk also says drugs, alcohol and gangsterism are contributing to crime.

“The community must support the police and women must get more involved in crime prevention and address their children who are involved in crime-related issues,” Van Wyk adds.
He says police will continue clamping down on crime as they adopt a “zero-tolerance approach”.
“Police will maintain their zero-tolerance approach in combatting and investigating crime. Strengthening the partnership between the community and the police is high on the agenda as it is contributing to reducing crime and the apprehension of perpetrators,” Van Wyk adds.
Anyone with information on crime can call the station on 021 700 3940 or Crime Stop on 0860 010 111.

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