Murder in Bellville up 28%

Minister of Police Bheki Cele. Picture: Sibonelo Ngcobo/African News Agency(ANA)

The nationwide rise in violent crime, seen in the latest crime stats, is reflected in Bellville and Durbanville with both stations seeing a hike in murder.

Police Minister Bheki Cele released the latest stats on Tuesday September 11. Tracking the period from April 1 last year to March this year, they paint a grim picture of crime in South Africa, with 20 336 murders reported – a 6% hike in the country’s murder rate.

Murder in Bellville is up 28.6%, from 14 to 18 cases. In Durbanville, the increase was much more marked: 83.3%, from 12 to 22 cases. Attempted murder dropped from 12 to eight cases in Durbanville but it more than doubled in Bellville, from 12 to 25 cases.

Durbanville saw an increase in four out of five of its sexual offences categories with a spike of 35.7%. Rape cases increased from 28 to 38.

In Bellville, rapes rose 6.5%, from 31 to 33 cases. Sexual assaults are up 81.8%, from 11 to 20 cases.

Home robberies in Durbanville are up 30.8%, from 26 to 34 cases. Business robberies rose 3.6%, from 28 to 29 cases.

Home robberies in Bellville shot up 133.3%, from 18 to 42 cases. Business robberies are down 18.2%, from 44 to 36 cases.

Malicious damage to property is up 5.7% in Bellville, from 244 to 258 cases. Burglaries at homes are down 21.6%, from 796 to 624 cases. At businesses, they dropped from 210 to 206 cases.

Vehicle theft fell 11%, from 234 to 208 cases, and theft from vehicles by 22.9%, from 1454 to 1121 cases.

In Durbanville, malicious damage to property rose 14.6% from 213 to 244 cases. Burglaries at businesses rose 16.2%, from 117 to 136 cases, but home burglaries fell 12.2%, from 557 to 489 cases.

Theft of vehicles dropped 16.3%, from 80 to 67 cases, but thefts from vehicles

climbed 3.7%, from 438 to 454 cases.

Glenn Schooling, vice-chairman of the Durbanville Community Police Forum (CPF), said they were unable to give informed comment on the stats before they had been analysed at the next public CPF meting at the Durbanville library on Thursday October 11.

“Any comment now would therefore not be based on an informed dissemination of all the facts and contributing factors.

“In our opinion each station has different community profiles and various factors contributing towards crime. A comparison will therefore not be practical.”

Hennie Koekemoer, chairman of the Bellville CPF,said murder, sexual offences and murder had showed “marginal increases”, but Bellville was mainly a property-crime area, and the CPF was happy with the general reduction in that category of crime, although it remained high.

“Our communities must become more aware of how they create crime opportunities through negligence and ignorance, specifically when we consider the very high figures of theft from and out of motor vehicles,” he said.

The CPF planned to run “community projects” to help police with administrative tasks so they could be free to tackle crime hot spots, he said.“Ewald Botha, spokesman for Community Safety MEC Dan Plato, said Capetonians were facing unacceptably high levels of violent crime fuelled by gangsterism, drugs and gun violence.

“The province is seeing 10-year highs being recorded in murder, robbery with aggravating circumstances, robbery at residential premises, counts of illegal possession of firearms and ammunition and an all-time high in drug-related crime.”

The possibility that some crimes were being under-reported needed to be examined, because “we cannot allow a breakdown in the relationship between police and communities because of poor policing service delivery based on insufficient manpower and resources”, Mr Botha said.

It was well known that the Western Cape with one police officer for every 509 citizens was well below the national average of 1:369, he said.

Durbanville and Bellville police stations did not respond to questions by the time this edition went to print.