KZN Crime Stats – Very Little to Celebrate

Sizwe Mchunu, MPP

Leader of the DA in the KZN Legislature / DA KZN Spokesperson on Community Safety and Liaison

AS much as the Democratic Alliance in KwaZulu-Natal welcomes any drop in crime levels in the province, that there is little cause to celebrate what, in the majority of categories, represents a single digit decrease.

In most parts of the province, people still fear for their personal safety and that of their families on a daily basis. And it would appear that they have good reason to. More people were murdered in KZN than in any other province during the past financial year, with 3 422 people murdered between April 2011 and March 2012. The figure marks a 327 drop in the number of murders since the previous financial year and has been heralded as a “drastic decline” by the province’s MEC for Community Safety and Liaison. The reality is that more than 3 000 people died violently in our province last year – this is not progress.

That KwaMashu, Umlazi and Inanda are still dubbed “murder capitals” is extremely concerning. This notorious moniker not only stirs fear, it also chases away potential investors which will ultimately impact negatively on the province’s only metro, eThekwini. There is only so much that communities such as these can be asked to do in the fight against violent crime. Public confidence in the police force is shockingly low and the police need to step up to the plate and send a clear message to criminals that they are taking back these areas.

The DA in KwaZulu-Natal calls for;

– Provincial municipal and metro law enforcement officials to be given increased powers so that they become an extension of the KZN police force.

– A comprehensive and independent audit of the province’s police stations.

– Authorities to deal with capacity and competency issues, in particular proper training of investigators. There are too many instances where crimes remain unsolved and where the victims themselves must campaign for justice. This is unacceptable.

– Visible, round the clock policing by trained personnel in crime-ridden areas.

– The reintroduction of specialised crime fighting units with expert personnel.

– Real time reports on KZN crime statistics, from an independent body, rather than an annual presentation which includes information up to 18 months old.

It is clear that there is a lot of hard work ahead for law enforcement agencies in our province. The DA expects KZN police to target the areas identified as part of the annual crime stats and not to simply regard the release of the figures as a job now done.

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