The majority of the contact crimes and murder in the area under Muizenberg police can be attributed to the ongoing gang violence in sector 2 and is the reason for the increase of 24%.
This is how Captain Stephen Knapp, spokesperson for Muizenberg police, responded after the crime statistics for the financial year 2017/2018 were released by the South African Police Service recently.
“Various initiatives were employed during the financial year to combat the scourge of gang incidents. These include increased deployment by means of Operation Thunder and the establishment of a base camp in Military Road,” he said.
“Focus-driven operations, guided by intelligence gathering, were also utilised in our attempt to normalise the situation. To this degree a 253.8% increase in arrests affected for the illegal possession of firearms and ammunition was achieved. In the 2016/2017 financial year, only 13 arrests were affected in relation to the 46 for the past financial year.
“The abuse of alcohol and drugs has also contributed to the loss of life and Muizenberg police have increased their drug arrests by 49.6% from 496 in 2016/2017 to 742 arrests in the 2017/2018 financial year,” Knapp said.
Assault with intent to inflict grievous bodily harm showed an increase of 7.1%, common robbery has shown a decrease of 14.9%. Robbery with aggravated circumstances (street robberies) has increased by 10.6%.
The statistics for sexual offences has shown a decrease of 13.8% and in this regard, Muizenberg police would like to take the opportunity to thank the Victim Empowerment Programme which is instrumental in assisting victims of sexual assault and rape, he said.
Property-related crime, which includes burglary at residential premises, theft out of motor vehicles and theft of motor vehicles, has shown an overall reduction of 1.2%. A total of 143 persons were arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol, which is an increase of 9.2% in relation to the previous financial year.
“Under the category ‘crimes detected as a result of police action’ (arrests affected), there was a marked increase of 45.2% in the number of arrests affected. Most of these arrests are executed under difficult circumstances where often the community turns against the police, but this has not deterred the police members from remaining committed to their mandate.
“In our ongoing endeavours to reduce crime, Muizenberg police understand the need for community participation in forming vital partnerships, which would include neighbourhood watches, and would like to encourage the community to be active participants in the fight against crime.”
Muizenberg is an area which has increased in size and population, he adds.
“Its precinct is a diverse socioeconomic community, where poverty, unemployment and economic hardship are a fact of life. This, coupled with the abuse of alcohol and drugs, is a contributing factor to the crime statistics. This however does not detract from the duties and responsibilities of police in reducing crime, a cause to which we at Muizenberg police remain committed,” Knapp said.