THE quarterly crime statistics from April to June 2023, which were released on Friday by the Minister of Police, Bheki Cele, showed some improvement in the Western Cape, although three of the province’s police stations still remain in the top 10 in terms of murders nationally.
Delft, which sits at number three, had a slight decline in murders from 62 to 61 when compared to the same period in 2022. Gugulethu, which is on the fourth spot, had an increase from 43 to 59 murders. Harare also increased from 50 to 58 murders.
The Western Cape government said the release of the first quarter crime statistics, April to June 2023, revealed that the Western Cape recorded a 5.5% reduction in the murder rate.
It said this was a consecutive decrease, given that during the 4th quarter of the previous financial year, the province also recorded a 14.1% reduction for the period.
Premier Alan Winde said the latest figures were encouraging and that they reflected the hard work the women and men in blue were doing to further beat back crime, putting themselves at risk.
“I applaud our crime-fighting community for everything they do. You are making a big difference,” said Winde.
“But fighting crime is complex, and we are demonstrating that by utilising data, evidence, and technology, we can make inroads, despite the odds. We, however, still have a very long way to go. Our job is far from done, and we must continue with this momentum, using the Western Cape Safety Plan as our guide.
“In using the resources that we have, we must keep battling crime. Keeping residents safe means offering them dignity,” said Winde.
Unveiling the statistics, Cele said for the first time since Covid-19 reached SA’s shores in 2020, the murder rate of the country had declined in a single quarter.
“Between April and June this year, police recorded 6 228 counts of murder. This is 196 less people killed compared to the same time last year. Out of the 6 228 people killed during April to June, 1 188 were women and children. Apart from Mpumalanga and the Northern Cape, all other provinces recorded decreases in murder in this quarter," said Cele.
He said the 3.1% reduction in the country's murder rate must, however, further bolster all policing interventions that had led to fewer people being killed in the country.
However, Ian Cameron, Director of Community Safety at Action Society, was not pleased with the crime statistics, calling for the minister to be sacked.
He said currently in South Africa almost three people were murdered every hour, 69 a day. He said attempted murders were standing at almost three an hour and rapes at almost five an hour.
“We lost 293 children to murder in the first quarter of this year. That is three children per day. Every day, four children narrowly escape death due to attempted murder. Every day, 16 children are assaulted with the intent to cause grievous bodily harm,” said Cameron.
He said while the minister was delivering the crime statistics, three more people were murdered, and five women raped.
“Little children are paying with their lives every day because Cele continues to work in a silo and isn’t developing an integrated approach along with the Justice System, Correctional Services, and the Department of Social Development to prioritise crime fighting in South Africa. Cele must be sacked, the whole SAPS management should be restructured,” said Cameron.