Ricochet News

Crime stats show Eastern Cape residents under siege from criminals

Oct 24, 2017
Crime stats show Eastern Cape residents under siege from criminals

Reacting to the 2016/2017 annual Crime Statistics released by Police Minister, Fikile Mbalula, on Tuesday, the Democratic Alliance (DA) in the Eastern Cape said that it is clear that local communities are "caught in the grips of a vicious crime wave that is striking fear into the hearts and minds of the people of this province". 

See the 2016/2017 crime statistics here.

"This is a province with the highest murder rate in the country of 55.9 per 100 000 as well as the highest rape rate of 105.3 per 100 000," said Bobby Stevenson, the DA's Eastern Cape Shadow MEC for Safety and Security. 

"If you live in the Eastern Cape, the expression 'every person’s home is their castle' has now become 'every person’s home must be a fortress'.

"This is particularly so when one sees that robbery at residential premises is up by 5.7%, burglary at residential premises is up 2.0%, theft out of motor vehicles up 8.6%, stock theft up 3.7% and aggravated robbery is up by 7.1%."

Stevenson said that local residents simply do not feel safe in their homes.

"My biggest fear is that there will be a rise in vigilantism due to poor police performance.   

"We had the highest increases of all the provinces in arson at 10.2%, malicious damage to property at 2.1%, theft out of motors vehicles the highest at 8.6% and contact related crimes the highest, up by 2.5%.  Burglary at residential premises was the second highest increase of 2.0% and theft of motors vehicles the second highest increase at 2.3%," he added.

"Life and property in the Eastern Cape are simply not valued. The burn-and-loot culture is growing in our society. 

"There is some relief that sexual offences are down overall by 8.5% and assault GBH is down by 6.4% as well as the improvement in crimes related to police detection, such as drug-related crimes and illegal possession of ammunition and firearms."

He called for drastic action to be taken by the SAPS to radically reduce the high rate of crime in the Eastern Cape. 

"This requires that the vehicle management system is thoroughly overhauled so there are more visible police patrols and rapid response units available.

"Crime intelligence and detective work must ensure that culprits are brought before the courts. Police management needs to ensure that the SAPS is properly resourced, properly trained, properly staffed and properly equipped," Stevenson said. 

"Leadership is the difference maker and it is quite clear that there needs to be a shakeup in the Eastern Cape to get better results."