Kraaifontein murder dips but crime stats still make grim reading

The deployment of Law Enforcement Advancement Plan (LEAP) officers in Kraaifontein has seen a significant drop in murders, says mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis.

Murders in Kraaifontein dipped by 40.5% in the third quarter of 2021/2022 compared to the figures from the same period in 2020/2021 – but the precinct’s overall statistics continue to make for grim reading as it still features in the country’s top-10 murder hot spots.

Police Minister Bheki Cele presented the quarterly crime statistics for October 1 to December 31 2021, on Friday February 18.

The Kraaifontein police station ranks 23rd for precincts with the most contact crimes, with 706 cases, down from 827.

Kraaifontein ranks 7th for murders with 50 cases, down from 84.

The precinct is 19th out of 30 police stations where the most common assaults were reported – 228 cases, down from 243.

There were 52 cases of common robbery, up from 43, and 193 robberies with aggravating circumstances, down from 215. There were 88 “trio crimes” (car-jacking, robberies at homes and robberies at non-residential premises), down from 89.

Contact crimes dropped from 183 to 151 cases, malicious damage to property dropped from 176 to 149 cases.

Kraaifontein ranked second for both “crime detected as a result of police action” (with an increase from 479 to 847 cases) and “illegal possession of firearms” (with cases dropping from 44 to 38).

Drug-related crimes jumped from 389 to 756 cases.

Mr Cele said SAPS had generally seen a decrease in most of the crime categories, “except for murder which remains worryingly stubborn”.

Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis attributed the dip in murders to the deployment of Law Enforcement Advancement Plan (LEAP) officers.

“It is important that as a City we step in to protect residents from failing national services, such as the severe lack of policing resources.

“We will also keep placing SAPS’s under-resourcing on the national agenda, given the 511 net decline in SAPS personnel regionally between 2018 – 2021. Crime remains too high, especially in communities with inadequate police-to-population ratios.”

The mayor said the City’s plan to increase safety resourcing had seen its officers more than triple their arrest rates since 2016, from fewer than 1000 to almost 3 000 arrests, with half of them being drug-related.

Department of Community Safety spokesman Ishaam Davids said 80 LEAP officers had been deployed to the Kraaifontein police station in July last year.

“Integrated planning, together with targeted deployment from the different law enforcement agencies, has been key to the positive results we see in areas like Kraaifontein,” he said.