Crime stats show Cape police not coping with population growth - CPFs
Cape Town - Overpopulation, outdated infrastructure and unemployment were some of the reasons for the significant increase in crime statistics in Delft and Khayelitsha, community policing forums (CPFs) said.
According to the recently released statistics, Delft tops the murder rate with a 7.3% increase, making it the South Africa’s murder capital, replacing Nyanga.
Delft CPF chairperson Charles George said the statistics were alarming. He said Delft had grown and had become like a city overnight.
“You cannot keep on building houses and not upgrade the infrastructure, like crime fighting mechanisms, to serve the over-growing population. More schools and clinics were built, but no extra police station or a satellite police station was built,” he said.
George said crime needed to be fought with 21st century fighting methods.
“Not only is Delft a city, but we are still trying to get the police force to fight crime based on outdated methods. That is actually setting yourself up to fail miserably, and the reported statistics show that,” George said.
He said backyard dwellers had added to the growing population, averaging 20 people per plot.
“Violent crimes have increased. We used to worry over weekends about violent crimes, especially gang shooting, but currently shootings are occurring at any time of the day,” George said.
Khayelitsha cluster chairperson Francina Lukas said social problems like drugs and alcohol abuse, unemployment and poverty contributed to the surge of crime in the area. She said more police visibility, metro police and law enforcement needed to be deployed to focus on crime hot spots.
However, Nyanga has seen a significant decrease in other categories of crime, with murder having gone down by 36%. But robbery, car-jacking and drug-related crimes went up 1.6%, 40.3% and 18.6%, respectively.
Nyanga CPF chairperson Martin Makhasi attributed the decrease to social crime prevention programmes and collaboration with social partners and community organisations.
“We have increased police visibility in all sectors by establishing programmes which have brought back confidence to the community. We also have taken a decision to re-establish CPF sector sub-forums and have encouraged them to try and localise interventions of crime programmes. We also ensured that we also registered our neighbourhood watches to work on the ground,” he said.
He said common crimes, car- jacking and drug-elated crimes were a challenge and they were in a process of establishing block committees to look out for common robbery hot spots.