Johannesburg - Ivory Park is the most dangerous place in Gauteng, with more than 120 people killed in the township in the past financial year.
Provincial statistics released by provincial police commissioner Deliwe de Lange in the legislature on Tuesday revealed a shocking 50.6% increase in killings in Gauteng’s murder capital.
De Lange said Roodepoort, with 88 murders recorded, closely follows Ivory Park in terms of statistics that painted townships as being under siege from crime.
Overall, crime in Ivory Park shot up by a staggering 14%, placing the township in third place behind Crystal Park (24%) and second-placed Midrand (15%).
Murder in Gauteng recorded a 6.7% hike with 4101 cases reported, 259 cases more than the previous year. Of these, 190 were domestic violence incidents, 105 emanated from mob justice 82 were related to taxi violence while 25 were linked to illegal mining.
Attempted murder increased by 6.5% while sexual offences went up by 0.8%.
Ivory Park also led the way with attempted murder, with 168 cases reported to the police.
The local police station was also one of the 10 worst-performing stations in terms of solving home robberies.
Making it even more unattractive to live in, Ivory Park also featured in the category of “contact-related crimes and malicious damage to property”.
The possession of illegal firearms and ammunition was also problematic in the area, with 78 cases reported in the past financial year.
Speaking to The Star after presenting the figures, De Lange described Ivory Park as a “very, very serious challenge”.
“The challenge with Ivory Park is that it is congested. Most challenges we are having in Ivory Park is all the crimes against women and children, murders, business robberies, theft of vehicles and domestic violence,” she said.
She said her management had intervened and the situation was improving.
“The problem was that people were not reporting crime. We had awareness campaigns and people are starting to report crimes and are working together with the police,” she said.
“Leadership was not the problem; the biggest issue is domestic violence, especially towards the weekend. Our people here were assaulting each other left, right and centre.”
De Lange assured the community safety committee that a lot of work was being done to clean up the township.
“As a sign of acknowledgement of the challenges experienced by the various stations, we have since the beginning of the current financial term concentrated on upping the resource capacity of the struggling stations,” she said.
“Vehicles and integrated intelligence operations have been increased.”
She said the intervention was proving fruitful and this would be evident when the 2017/18 crime statistics are released next year.
A member of the community safety committee, Jacob Khawe, said the crime statistics painted a picture of black neighbourhoods being under siege.
“If you look at the stats and do a political analysis; if you look at class, gender and race, what is the picture?
“What are we saying to the women in the province? What do we say to black Africans? What’s the picture? What do you say to the various classes?”
He added that it appeared business attacks were on the decrease, which suggested that this was being prioritised by the police.
Mafika Mgcina, another committee member, wanted to know if the police were winning the war on serious crimes, to which De Lange said “No”.
“The stats did not look good on the trio crimes,” she said.
Committee members also complained about the levels of crime reported at Moffat View, Edenvale and Akasia police stations.
De Lange said the issues at the three stations related to poor management. However, the issues had been attended to.
A host of commanders and other staff in the stations had been placed on suspension following complaints.
“Most of the suspects we have arrested are not coming back. We are monitoring our arrests on a daily basis.
“We often find that one person has been arrested more than 20 times for car hijackings, and all those cases were withdrawn.
“You then ask yourself: How is that possible?
“A person gets arrested, tomorrow they are out doing the same crime,” De Lange said.
She also complained about the high number of illegal immigrants allegedly being repeatedly arrested for robberies.