Weekends collectively account for 53% - about 1978 - of the counts of murder in the province.

Speaking at the Safer Western Cape Conference this week, provincial police commissioner Khombinkosi Jula said statistics revealed the primary motives for murder in the 2017/2018 period: 22% of crimes were gang-related, arguments accounted for 13.2% of crimes, robberies for 8.1%, domestic violence for 5.1% and taxi violence for 1.2%.

The two-day conference, hosted by Western Cape Premier Helen Zille and the Department of Community Safety, featured local and international speakers.

Jula said gang violence was the highest contributor to murder, with Mitchells Plain, Bishop Lavis, Philippi, Delft, Ravensmead and Kraaifontein the most prevalent areas.

Robberies were the third most common cause for murder, with Nyanga, Gugulethu, Philippi East, Khayelitsha, Delft, Harare, Kraaifontein and Mfuleni experiencing the highest incidence.

Domestic violence increased in terms of number of incidents, with contributing areas including Delft, Nyanga, Mfuleni, Gugulethu and Kraaifontein.

“The top instruments used to commit murder in the province included sharp objects at 8.6%, knives at 25.3% and firearms at 42.3%. The main time period for which these instruments were used to commit murder was from 6pm to 12.59am, which accounted for a combined total of 54.3%,” said Jula.

He said police aimed to combat gang and taxi violence through rapid intervention by a dedicated multi- disciplinary team with an integrated geographical and targeted approach.

“Reduction of robberies will be made by addressing repeat offenders, confiscation of firearms and dangerous weapons, and policing of hot spots.”

Police plan to address vigilantism by strengthening community policing forums, enhancing police reaction and addressing the four main generators of crime: drugs, liquor, firearms and “persons of interest”.

Dr Guy Lamb, criminologist and director of the Safety and Violence Initiative at UCT, said there was no dynamic strategy to reduce access to alcohol and reduce alcohol harm.

“It seems mostly men are prone to conflict when resolving an argument mixed with alcohol and using firearms. In other countries, it has been shown that reducing access to alcohol reduces fatalities and violence.”

Lamb said neighbourhood watches and CPFs have been successful in Paarl in monitoring shebeens and reducing access to alcohol.

MEC for Community Safety Alan Winde said the key to making the province safe was empowering communities to take back their streets.