Decline in serious crime but Western Cape child murders rise: ‘We are not out of the woods yet’

Police Oversight and Community Safety MEC Reagen Allen, Western Cape Premier Alan Winde, and Lieutenant-General Thembisile Patekile. Picture: Ayanda Ndamane/ African News Agency (ANA)

Police Oversight and Community Safety MEC Reagen Allen, Western Cape Premier Alan Winde, and Lieutenant-General Thembisile Patekile. Picture: Ayanda Ndamane/ African News Agency (ANA)

Published Aug 24, 2023

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Cape Town - Police commissioner Thembisile Patekile said although crime statistics showed a decline in serious crimes, they were still concerned about the murder of children.

He said they had set their sights on gang violence, taxi-related violence and crimes against children.

Patekile was joined by Premier Alan Winde and Police Oversight and Community Safety MEC Reagen Allen as they unpacked the statistics released on Friday.

“We have noticed the crimes against women have decreased, while there is a concerning increase in murders children. We have seen that those children are aged between 1 and 17 and also within this group you’d notice that they are mostly gang murders, children fighting each other.”

Patekile said there was a slight reprieve in multiple murders.

“We are not out of the woods yet, the stats indicate that the multiple murders are somewhat there.”

Delft remains the murder capital of the province, followed by Gugulethu, which was in seventh position in the last quarter.

‘Patekile said liquor remained their “sore point” and the main contributing factor in crimes such as murder, robberies and rape.

“We welcome the release of the crime stats, they also reflect on the areas where we still need to do work.

“The steady decline in our serious crime in the Western Cape, is duly acknowledged but that doesn’t mean we should let our guard down.

“The crime stats present a roadmap for law-enforcement agencies to help navigate towards safer communities. We must work harder.”

Patekile added that the numbers of murders and attempted murders recorded in the province had decreased.

“Constant intervention in the form of additional deployment, Operation Lockdown in the form of hot spot approach and Operations like Operation Shanela take time to make it reasonable to see the crime coming down.

“They deliver much-desired results. He said the main weapon of choice was firearms.

“Since January, we have recovered 1661 illegal firearms and 92022 (rounds of) ammunition.”

Patekile added that for kidnapping for ransom, there were 28 arrests for 13 cases reported.

“Extortion at construction sites has seen 10 cases with eight arrests since April. We realise we need more boots on the ground, hence we have the recruitment drive for the new intake.”

MEC Reagen Allen said that despite a reprieve, people were still traumatised.

“When we consider that since January, we have had 198 fewer murders, many communities are (still) feeling unsafe. That is encouraging. We are on the right path, we are pulling (in) the right direction. We all know that one murder (is) too many.

“I want to express my gratitude to the SAPS. Over the last 14 months since my appointment, we have been very clear that we need to ensure there is integration and co-operation and that we are going to work together with the CPF,” he said.

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Cape Argus