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Although KwaZulu-Natal has more murders than other provinces, these are coming down and other serious crimes in the province are declining.
This is the comfort outgoing provincial police commissioner Moses Khanyile offers the people of KwaZulu-Natal. He says police are winning the battle against criminals.
In parliament on Monday national Police Commissioner Jackie Selebi said murders had dropped by 1,3 percent during the period under review, and rape by 5,3 percent. Selebi said KwaZulu-Natal recorded the highest number of murders of all provinces with 5 405 cases, representing 25 percent of all murders country-wide. The Northern Cape recorded the lowest with 433 murders.
Retiring at the end of this month, Khanyile said there were more murders here because "of the nine provinces KwaZulu-Natal has got more people than the other eight provinces". There had been a drop in the number of murder cases during the past nine years compared to 1994.
Khanyile said crime fighters lacked human and material resources.
Of the 23 police stations in areas where most murders took place in the whole of South Africa during the past year, five are in KwaZulu-Natal.
They are Plessislaer in Pietermaritzburg, Inanda, KwaMashu and Umlazi in Durban and Esikhawini in the Umfolozi policing area.
"I am still very concerned about the Umfolozi area as it is one of our under-resourced areas. We have seen a large exodus of policemen through natural attrition and resignations in this area. We have a type of Bermuda triangle in as far as violent crime is concerned, particularly at Esikhawini, Empangeni and Richards Bay."
Municipalities, provinces and national government needed to roll out more police stations in under-serviced rural areas.
"Since 1994 very few police stations have been built in some of the rural areas. Most police stations and crime prevention strategies are still skewed towards the better-serviced urban areas."
In other types of crimes, such as heists and robbery with aggravating circumstances, the province had fared better in bringing these down when compared with Gauteng, Western Cape and Eastern Cape.
But experts have warned the latest crime information may well be meaningless.
And opposition parties by and large also criticised the police crime figures, saying they were old, drew the wrong conclusions and lacked credibility.
Senior researcher Ted Leggett of the Institute for Security Studies warned that the statistics were not a good indication or accurate reflection of what is really happening with the crime situation.
Durban's deputy mayor Logie Naidoo said crime was a serious social problem that needed urgent intervention, but that Durban had recorded a drop in the number of cases.