Murder on the increase

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

The murder rate in Kraaifontein, Brackenfell and Kuils River has shot up, mirroring the national trend, according to the latest police crime statistics.

Police Minister Bheki Cele released the statistics on September 11, tracking reported crime from April 1 2017 to the end of March this year.

During that time, there were 20 336 murders in South Africa, equating to a 6.9% increase in the country’s murder rate.
Kraaifontein is ranked seventh among the top-30 stations across the country with the highest recorded murders and 17th for the highest recorded contact crimes. This is the second time in a row that it has been in the top-30 ranking for serious reported crimes.

The annual murder rate in Kraaifontein has stubbornly stuck at 70 and above for the past decade.

Murders rose 31%, from 142 to 186 cases, in the latest reporting period.

Assaults with intent to inflict grievous bodily harm (GBH) are up 10%, from 390 to 430; home robberies rose 20%, from 63 to 76.

Attempted murder is down 35%, from 160 to 103.

In Kuils River, murders more than doubled with an increase of 118.8%, from 16 to 35 cases.

Attempted murder is up 34.5%, from 29 to 39 cases.

Armed robbery rose 15%, from 417 to 480 cases. Attempted sexual offences rose 75%, from four to seven reported cases.

Carjacking is up 68.4%, from 19 to 32 cases; home robberies by 69.8%, from 43 to 73, and business robberies by 27.6%, from 29 to 37 cases.

In Brackenfell, the stats show drops in several crime categories, but not murder. It rose from two to nine cases.

Carjacking is up 150%, from six to 15 cases, and drug-related crime rose 29.7%, from 118 to 153.

Business burglaries are down 26.4%, from 148 to 109 cases, as are home burglaries, by 11.4%, from 440 to 390 cases.

Community Safety MEC Dan Plato said police resources should be “pumped” into the Western Cape and understaffed police stations needed urgent attention.

There should be specialised units in high-risk communities to tackle gangs, guns and drugs, he said.

“It is time for the necessary action to change the lives of those confronted with crime on a daily basis. This should include the support of SAPS base camps and the SANDF, in gang hotspots.

delivery based on insufficient manpower and resources,” he said.

Brackenfell SAPS station commander Willie Joseph said the station was committed to curbing crime in the area together with “The possibility of under reporting of crime needs further unpacking as we cannot allow a breakdown in the relationship between police and communities because of poor policing service “community policing structures”.

The community police forum, neighbourhood watches and security firms had played a key role in helping to reduce crime, he said.

Kuils River SAPS station commander, Jayce Naidoo, said areas such as Kalkfontein had seen an increase in gang violence but his staff “has it under control.”

Some crimes were easier to combat than other. “Crimes such as assault occurring in homes can be difficult for police to keep their eye on,” he said.

“Drugs are a main concern in the Kuils River area, and more stop-and-search patrols are done regularly. We are doing our best to fight crime in our communities,” he said.

Kraaifontein Community Police Forum and Kraaifontein police station did not respond to questions before this edition went to print.