Andrew Louw, MPL
DA Northern Cape: Provincial Leader
The Democratic Alliance does not consider the miniscule decrease in certain areas of crime in the Northern Cape, especially sexual crimes, as an indication that government is doing everything it can to keep our people safe. The DA has grave concerns about the manipulation of the province’s statistics to paint a rosy picture. On a day to day basis, we still read of violent rapes and sexual assaults in the papers. The provincial government also still hasn’t implemented its Anti-Rape Strategy. Furthermore, certain categories of crime such as domestic violence fall under other categories in an effort to hide the real situation on the ground.
It is further worrying that a number of crimes have significantly increased in the Northern Cape. Murder and robbery with aggravating circumstances are just two of the worrying increases. This says little for the police having combated the violent nature of the province. An increase in drug related crimes is also of concern, especially when considering that, after all the talk, the province still has not established a drug rehabilitation centre in the Northern Cape.
An increase in theft is also is cold comfort to law-abiding citizens who live in fear of criminals.
The statistics are also up to 18 months old. The DA wants to see real-time crime statistics made available to the public at station level. This will not only give the public information on the nature and extent of crime in their area, but also allow the SAPS to tailor local responses relevant to present-day realities. At the same time, it is disturbing that there has been no independent audit of the statistics. This means that we can’t determine whether the procedure followed in collating the statistics is valid. It is time for an independent body to take control of the crime statistics away from the police.
The DA is of the view that the police ministers should not pat themselves on the back for meager progress. The people of the Northern Cape will certainly not feel any safer as a result of these crime statistics.