NC Crime Stats: Residents are simply not safer

Harold McGluwa, ID MPL

DA Northern Cape: Provincial Chairperson Spokesperson on Transport, Safety & Liaison

The DA believes the Safety MEC, Mac Jack, and the SAPS in the province are not doing enough to protect residents from increasingly brazen criminals.

The release of the 2012/13 crime statistics reveals that residents are increasingly falling victim to serious contact (such as robbery and

assault) and drug-related crimes.

Contrary to the political rhetoric and constant assurances, the crime stats paint a picture of residents facing higher murder, robbery, drug-related, and car-jacking crimes.

From the 2011/12 to the 2012/13 year reviewed, the crime stats show that;

?            Murder increased from 368 to 412 cases (12% increase),

?            Robbery with aggravating circumstances increased by 27.9%,

?            Common robbery increased by 12.8%,

?            Residential robbery increased by 16.9%,

?            Drug-related crimes increased by 7.1%,

?            Sexual offences increased by 6.1%,

?            And hijacking increased by 211%.

These are crimes that go to the heart of the daily lived experience of residents.

The bottom-line is our people are increasingly being murdered, robbed, are subject to sexual violence, and are terrorized by the scourge of drugs.

The DA has in the past called for a greater political-will, leadership and increased cooperation between SAPS and communities in the fight against crime.

We repeat the call for the SAPS to empower residents and to release crime stats more regularly at community level. People cannot be expected to meaningfully assist in the fight against crime if they given stats a year after the fact.

The SAPS must also return to international best practice, and re-establish various specialized units, such as the Narcotics Unit.

The people of this province have a constitutional right to safety and deserve better crime fighting efforts. The provincial government must lead from the front in this regard, which means cleaning up its own act.

It is unacceptable that the man at the helm of the Safety Department, Stephen Jonkers, is himself facing serious fraud and corruption charges, yet remains in his position.

The inaction of the MEC and Premier Sylvia Lucas in this regard effectively undermines any provincial crime fighting strategies and public confidence.

The DA is in the process of updating its policies, and is drafting a Green Paper on Safety, Crime and Justice which sets out how we would improve the criminal-justice system if elected into government. The Green Paper is set to be launched in the coming months.