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Lack of resources, reinvention blamed for the soaring crime stats in Cape communities

The SAPS also recorded 161 gang-related murders for the quarter, as opposed to 131 for the same period in 2020/21. Picture: Supplied

The SAPS also recorded 161 gang-related murders for the quarter, as opposed to 131 for the same period in 2020/21. Picture: Supplied

Published Jun 6, 2022

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Cape Town - Following the release of the quarterly crime statics over the weekend, local community safety structures across the metro said much more still needs to be done to curb evolving crime trends.

Community Policing Forums (CPFs) said despite the slight decrease in certain criminal activities in their areas, more resources and a different approach to solving crime were needed.

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Delft CPF chairperson Charles George said: “The statistics reveal a very sad and bleak future for our local communities …

“But I feel like I have been saying the same thing since 2018, and that can’t be the case. The reason why Delft is mentioned so many times in that report is that role players are not coming to the party.

“It’s 2022 and we can’t still be using the same tactics from decades ago; we need to make use of current technology systems to fight crime.

“We also need more resources to be deployed to local communities because our policing precincts are greatly under-staffed.

“And we need our communities to also come on board and take an active role to help the apprehend the perpetrators of these crimes.”

Delft was one of the top 30 policing precincts which recorded an increase in murder cases by about 17.4%; along with Harare informal settlement 51.3%; Kraaifontein 14.9; Lwandle 81.3%; and Lingelethu West 40%.

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While the Kraaifontein community featured in the top 30 stations for various crime trends including sexual offences, rape and murder, the local community safety structures said they have seen an encouraging decrease in the statistics compared to the previous year.

CPF chairperson Rob Bissette said: “As a community structure, we have been working closely with our residents over the past few months.

“This has seen the trust in our function and that of the police increase greatly, which is encouraging. Now that we have that component covered, we can work more efficiently to serve the community.”

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Bissette said while the community was now ready to work together to create a safer environment, its quest for a second police station was hampering efforts as the current station was overloaded and under-resourced.

“We have been asking for a second station for quite some time. Not only that, but also more satellite stations. We are still waiting for a positive response back from the national government. If we were to receive the second station, it would help immensely especially now that we have begun to make progress in other aspects.

“We also need our CPF budget to be increased, not decreased because we can’t function properly with less funds and frankly, we don’t understand why the Department of Community Safety saw it fit to reduce the small fraction of funds we have.”

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While Delft, Harare and Kraaifontein were recorded in the top 30 stations for murder, the Western Cape recorded 1 015 murders for the period January to March 2022, compared with 904 in 2020/21.

The SAPS also recorded 161 gang-related murders for the quarter, as opposed to 131 for the same period in 2020/21. Gang-related murders accounted for 23.9% of murders in the Western Cape.

Commenting on the crime statistics in respect of the province, community safety and police oversight MEC Reagan Allen said communities that recorded an increase in crime activities highlighted the amount of work that still needed to be done.

“I am encouraged by the turnaround in Nyanga and Gugulethu, and believe that we can achieve the same with the other hotspot areas. I am certain that our newly launched Safety Dashboard will help us identify exactly where the LEAP officers are mostly required, so that we are direct and deliberate in their deployment.”

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Cape Argus

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