Statistics not ‘true reflection’

The latest crime statistics are not a “true reflection” and fail to account for the many crimes that go unreported by citizens who have lost faith in the police, says Parow Community Police Forum chairman Roger Cannon.

“Many times the community do not report crimes as they feel it is pointless due to poor service delivery by police. Residents have told me that they have waited for up to six hours for a police van to arrive,” Mr Cannon said.

Police Minister Fikile Mbalula released the latest crime statistics last week. They log reported crimes in the country from the beginning of March 2016 to the end of April this year.

Community Safety MEC Dan Plato said almost a quarter of all crime reported in South Africa took place in the Western Cape.

“It is evident that too many communities in the province do not have the luxury of feeling safe in their communities. This is most often the result of insufficient policing resources,” he said.

Murders went up in both Parow and Goodwood this year, from 1 to 4 in Goodwood and from 7 to 11 in Parow. The Western Cape recorded the fourth-largest number of murders with 3311 (a 2.7% increase), and nationally the murder toll rose by 1.8%.

In Goodwood, the statistics point to a problem with contact crime. Apart from the increase in murders, sexual offences rose 44% from 25 to 36 cases; attempted murder jumped from 83% from 6 to 11; assault with the intent to do grievous bodily harm rose 3.6% from 55 to 57; and common robbery went up 26% from 171 to 216 cases.

Rape – included in the sexual offences contact crime category – rose 11%, from 18 to 20 cases, and sexual assault almost tripled, from five to 15 cases.

Residential burglaries were up 2.4%, from 376 to 385 cases.

Driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol and drug rose 34.7% from 95 to 128 cases.

While Parow police station saw drops in many categories, this wasn’t the case for some of the big crimes: murder, rape, carjacking, home robberies and drug-related crime all saw marked increases.

Apart from murders almost doubling, from 7 to 11 cases, rape increased 22% from 18 to 22 cases. Drug-related crime went up by the same percentage but from a much higher base: 859 to 1049 cases. Home robberies went up 17%, from 23 to 27, and carjackings increased 5% from 40 to 42 cases

Shoplifting in the precinct is also a problem, rising 36.5% from 532 to 726 cases.

The illegal possession of firearms and ammunition cases rose from 11 to 15 cases and DUIs went up 12.6% from 111 to 125.

Parow police spokesman Captain Kevin Williams said police regarded any murder as “one too many” and he warned of the impact alcohol and drug abuse had on driving up crime.

“We hope to foster a closer relationship with the community to prevent the loss of any life,” he said.

Mr Cannon said criminals fleeing gang violence in Elsies River contributed to some of the spikes in Parow’s crime figures.

Acting Goodwood police station commander Lieutenant-Colonel Hennie Rademeyer said liquor had played a big role in pushing up contact crime statistics in the precinct.

“We plan to increase compliance inspections at liquor premises and visits,” he said.

In the sexual offences categories, he said, most of the victims had known their attackers.

“Awareness and education in these categories remain an important task,” he said.

“A number of incidents were reported where the victims met the suspects at parties or places of entertainment and accompanied them to their houses where they were raped.”

He said the police planned to increase visibility with the help of the CPF and various neighbourhood watches.