By SP Motswenyane (MPL), DA North West Spokesperson: Community Safety:
The Democratic Alliance in the North West is concerned that the national government’s grip over the South African Police Service has lost the war against crime.
The latest crime statistics indicate an increase in not only murders and robberies with aggravating circumstances, but also hijackings, stock theft and the illegal possession of firearms, leaving our citizens unsafe and unprotected.
In the province that saw the devastating Marikana massacre in 2012, one cannot help feeling that the SAPS has lost its direction away from protecting our citizens.
The increase in crime is not encouraging, as the people of North West cannot feel safe in their own homes, workplaces or on the roads.
The 2014/2015 crime stats report revealed that the crime rate has increased in the following categories:
- Carjacking 14.9%
- Robbery at residential premises 10.6%
- Robbery with aggravating circumstances 10.5%
- Stock-theft 7.8%
- Illegal possession of firearms and ammunition 7.7%
- Theft out of or from motor vehicle 6.2%
- Drug related crime 5.7%
- Burglary at non- residential premises 4.5%
- Robbery at non-residential premises 3.9%
- Murder 3.5%
- Common robbery 3.3%
- Common assault 2.7%
- Burglary at residential premises 1.9%
- Malicious damage to property 0.8%
- Robbery of cash in transit: 5 cases higher
- Bank robbery: 1 case higher
The high level of contact crimes and stock theft in this predominantly rural province emphasizes the need to re-establish specialised units that will tackle specific crimes. This includes the need for specialized units to investigate drug and narcotic related crimes, murder and robbery and stock theft.
We should not accept crime as an inescapable reality in South Africa. With proper policing strategies, trained police officers, specialised units and proper leadership, the SAPS can succeed.
Our SAPS remains politically and operationally rudderless. Countless South African lives are at stake.
The national government is solely responsible for proper policing, and it is horrendously failing our people, leaving us unprotected and destroying the image of our country.