Western Cape Premier Alan Winde File photo: African News Agency (ANA)

Cape Town – Premier Alan Winde is alarmed that the murder increased by 6.6% in the Western Cape – of these, 47% of incidents occurred at just 10 police stations.

"Despite last year’s promises from Police Minister Bheki Cele and the service he leads, violent crime in the Western Cape remains effectively unchanged," Winde said after the annual national crime statistics were released today for the period covering April 2018 to March 2019.

"The murder to population ratio in the Western Cape is 60 per 100 000 – almost double the national average." 

Community Safety MEC Albert Fritz said: “Murders reported in the Western Cape account for 18.9% of all murders in the country, while the province only accounts for 11.6% of the population.  

"Eleven Western Cape police stations are recorded among the top 30 in the country. This is unacceptable and points to the need for more boots on the ground and more regular statistics – at least on a quarterly basis, if not more regularly. 

"SAPS needs to adopt evidence-based policing, which would lead to deployment at key times in key hot-spot locations. We need our police to be in these hot spots before crimes are committed, not after.” 

Winde added: "Last week we saw thousands of people standing up against gender-based violence and crime. We've seen communities impacted by gang violence saying 'enough'. 

"But when asked about whether heads would roll, Minister Bheki Cele said he didn't believe they should, implying he finds this situation acceptable. President Cyril Ramaphosa and Minister Cele should not find the crime situation in this province acceptable at all. 

"As a province, we cannot wait for SAPS to get its house in order. This government has been working on a safety plan which will focus on both enforcement and protection. We will announce this plan soon. 

"In the meantime, we continue our call for policing to become a provincial mandate as these statistics have shown that the nationally managed SAPS have lost the war on crime." 

Fritz added: “My department will conduct an in-depth analysis of these crime stats, in order to shed more light on specific trends, crime categories and a suite of proposed responses. 

"SAPS management have a lot to answer for and it is my hope that they will be held accountable for their failure to ensure that the people of this country are safe and are able to access the rights that are enshrined in the Constitution of this country."

Cape Times