Crime stats 2013/14: Gauteng drug scourge a continued concern

Michele Clarke MPL

DA Spokesperson for Community Safety

The release of crime statistics for 2013/14 for Gauteng confirms a continued upward trend in drug-related crimes in the province.

In fact, drug-related crime detected as a result of police action increased by 95.8% in the province in the year under review.

The need for specialised drug units has never been more urgent.

According to a response from Gauteng Community Safety MEC Sizakele Nkosi-Malobane to written questions from the DA, only 65 successful convictions have come from 127 400 drug-related arrests in Gauteng since 2011.

This is a shocking 1.5% conviction rate over four years.

While police intervention into drug-related crime may be increasing, it appears that the SAPS are not getting to the core of this issue.

We need to do more than just arrest low-key dealers and street traders; serious inroads into this issue will only come with bringing down big drug bosses and kingpins.

Improved crime intelligence and specialised drug units are the only way to yield more convictions and a significant decrease in this crime.

Despite several attempts by the DA to have these units reinstated, the provincial government continues to delay in taking serious action in this regard.

The DA will continue to fight for a better drug plan for Gauteng.