No surprises expected for the quarterly crime stats
Durban - As South Africa eagerly awaits the quarterly crime statistics expected to be released today by the SAPS, community policing forums (CPFs) were sceptical about whether they would show an improvement in the country’s crime situation.
Durban North and uMhlanga CFP chairperson Hayden Searles said they wanted to get last week’s statistics, which would be more relevant. He was hopeful that the statistics would present a much better picture, but was not optimistic based on what he had seen on the ground.
Searles pointed to the socio-economic situation in the country.
“People are begging for food and jobs. Then you get criminals who have been recently released who go back to their old jobs,” he said.
Searles said people in the Durban North and uMhlanga areas were worried about a spike in crime after the lockdown. He said that once the lockdown restrictions had eased last year there was a spike in crime.
Umesh Singh, the chairperson of the Phoenix Community Policing Forum, said that based on his observations, some crimes such as robberies and hijackings had been on the rise, although murder bucked this trend.
Singh was impressed with how the Phoenix SAPS had been fighting crime in the area. He said that people should always be aware of what was happening around them.
Institute of Security Studies crime expert Dr Johan Burger said: “I don’t think there will be anything dramatic. It’s not possible to compare last quarter's statistics with 2019 statistics because of the differing situations.”
Burger said that crime had gone down during the hard lockdown, and when it (lockdown) ended the criminals got out of the starting blocks and tried to regain lost ground.
“We are seeing a return to normalcy,” he said. He added that it was possible that crime would be higher than pre-Covid levels.