Crime stats: PMB community leaders respond with their strategies

2015-10-01 10:54
Police cars outside the clothing shop that was burgled during load-shedding on Wednesday night.

Police cars outside the clothing shop that was burgled during load-shedding on Wednesday night. (Supplied)

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Pietermaritzburg - Following the release of crime statistics, Pietermaritzburg community leaders believe more needs to be done to fight the criminal scourge.

The statistics released nationally on Tuesday were widely criticised for multiple discrepancies which brought the credibility of the figures into question.

However, local Community Policing Forum heads say the figures still indicate where the city needs to focus its crime prevention resources.

Loop Street CPF chairperson Gerald Harry said high crime figures in the CBD stemmed from alcohol abuse in taverns and other liquor outlets over weekends.

Speaking about the 1 131 cases of drug-related crimes detected as a result of police action in the CBD area over the last financial year, Harry said there are multiple task teams in the area to deal with drug dealers and users.

“The drug problem … is wide-scale but officers at Loop Street are doing a great job in areas like Retief Street where these crimes are rife,” Harry said.

Mountain Rise CPF chairperson Jay Jugwanth said although he is alarmed by the 36,2% increase in murder within the precinct, there has been an overall drop in contact crimes and contact-related crimes like sexual offences, common robbery and assault.

“We have been driving the community in assisting the police to combat crime in their neighbourhoods. The drop in cases is a result of this and I believe next year we will see amazing results in this precinct,” Jugwanth said.

Former Loop Street CPF chairperson Claire Crawley echoed Jugwanth’s sentiments, saying the community is responsible for assisting the police.

Crawley said the public can do little things like conceal their cellphones when walking on the streets, keep their valuables hidden when parking their vehicles and check their car doors when using a remote to lock their vehicles.

“The most important thing is that victims report crimes. Police make arrests and recover stolen goods and when people get their items back, they refuse to open a case,” Crawley said.

“People need to realise that reporting an offence governs the distribution of police resources to areas that need it and crime statistics may become skewed when cases are not reported.”

When the figures were released, Democratic Alliance provincial community safety spokesperson Rishigen Viranna called for an independent audit of the crime statistics “to ensure the truth on the scale of crime is exposed”.

“We need proper police training, filling of vacancies, sound leadership from a competent commissioner and political will to stop crime, with specialised units to tackle drug crime, gang crime and rural safety units too,” Viranna said.

Yesterday, KZN MEC for Transport, Community Safety and Liaison Willies Mchunu instead welcomed the decline in most forms of crime in the province, commending provincial police for being singled out as one of the top three performing provinces in the South African Police Service.

Other crime figures released in Tuesday’s report for the period April 2014 to March 2015:

Alexandra Road:

•Theft out of or from motor vehicle - 286

•Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs - 45

•Common assault - 191

•Common robbery - 28


•Theft out of or from motor vehicle - 133

•Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs - 21

•Common assault - 70

•Common robbery - 17

Mountain Rise:

•Theft out of or from motor vehicle - 396

•Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs - 99

•Common assault - 592

•Common robbery - 107


•Theft out of or from motor vehicle - 741

•Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs - 120

•Common assault - 562

•Common robbery - 479


•Theft out of or from motor vehicle - 63

•Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs - 6

•Common assault - 47

•Common robbery - 12

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  crime stats 2015  |  crime

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