Gaut­eng mur­der cap­i­tal

Ivory Park is the most dan­ger­ous place to live in

The Star Late Edition - - FRONT PAGE - SIHLE MANDA

IVORY PARK is the most dan­ger­ous place in Gaut­eng, with more than 120 peo­ple killed in the town­ship in the past fi­nan­cial year.

Pro­vin­cial sta­tis­tics re­leased by pro­vin­cial po­lice com­mis­sioner Deliwe de Lange in the leg­is­la­ture yes­ter­day re­vealed a shock­ing 50.6% in­crease in killings in Gaut­eng’s mur­der cap­i­tal.

De Lange said Rood­e­poort, with 88 mur­ders recorded, closely fol­lows Ivory Park in terms of sta­tis­tics that painted town­ships as be­ing un­der siege from crime.

Over­all, crime in Ivory Park shot up by a stag­ger­ing 14%, plac­ing the town­ship in third place be­hind Crys­tal Park (24%) and sec­ond-placed Midrand (15%).

Mur­der in Gaut­eng recorded a 6.7% hike with 4 101 cases re­ported, 259 cases more than the pre­vi­ous year. Of th­ese, 190 were do­mes­tic vi­o­lence in­ci­dents, 105 em­anated from mob jus­tice‚ 82 were re­lated to taxi vi­o­lence while 25 were linked to il­le­gal min­ing.

At­tempted mur­der in­creased by 6.5% while sex­ual of­fences went up by 0.8%.

Ivory Park also led the way with at­tempted mur­der, with 168 cases re­ported to the po­lice.

The lo­cal po­lice sta­tion was also one of the 10 worst-per­form­ing sta­tions in terms of solv­ing home rob­beries.

Mak­ing it even more unattrac­tive to live in, Ivory Park also fea­tured in the cat­e­gory of “con­tact-re­lated crimes and ma­li­cious dam­age to prop­erty”.

The pos­ses­sion of il­le­gal firearms and am­mu­ni­tion was also prob­lem­atic in the area, with 78 cases re­ported in the past fi­nan­cial year.

Speak­ing to The Star af­ter pre­sent­ing the fig­ures, De Lange de­scribed Ivory Park as a “very, very se­ri­ous chal­lenge”.

“The chal­lenge with Ivory Park is that it is con­gested. Most chal­lenges we are hav­ing in Ivory Park is all the crimes against women and chil­dren, mur­ders, busi­ness rob­beries, theft of ve­hi­cles and do­mes­tic vi­o­lence,” she said.

She said her man­age­ment had in­ter­vened and the sit­u­a­tion was im­prov­ing.

“The prob­lem was that peo­ple were not re­port­ing crime. We had aware­ness cam­paigns and peo­ple are start­ing to re­port crimes and are work­ing to­gether with the po­lice,” she said.

“Lead­er­ship was not the prob­lem; the big­gest is­sue is do­mes­tic vi­o­lence, es­pe­cially to­wards the week­end. Our peo­ple here were as­sault­ing each other left, right and cen­tre.”

De Lange as­sured the com­mu­nity safety com­mit­tee that a lot of work was be­ing done to clean up the town­ship.

“As a sign of ac­knowl­edge­ment of the chal­lenges ex­pe­ri­enced by the var­i­ous sta­tions, we have since the be­gin­ning of the cur­rent fi­nan­cial term con­cen­trated on up­ping the re­source ca­pac­ity of the strug­gling sta­tions,” she said.

“Ve­hi­cles and in­te­grated in­tel­li­gence oper­a­tions have been in­creased.”

She said the in­ter­ven­tion was prov­ing fruit­ful and this would be ev­i­dent when the 2017/18 crime sta­tis­tics are re­leased next year.

A mem­ber of the com­mu­nity safety com­mit­tee, Ja­cob Khawe, said the crime sta­tis­tics painted a pic­ture of black neigh­bour­hoods be­ing un­der siege.

“If you look at the stats and do a po­lit­i­cal analysis; if you look at class, gen­der and race, what is the pic­ture?

“What are we say­ing to the women in the prov­ince? What do we say to black Africans? What’s the pic­ture? What do you say to the var­i­ous classes?”

He added that it ap­peared busi­ness at­tacks were on the de­crease, which sug­gested that this was be­ing pri­ori­tised by the po­lice.

Mafika Mgcina, an­other com­mit­tee mem­ber, wanted to know if the po­lice were win­ning the war on se­ri­ous crimes, to which De Lange said “No”.

“The stats did not look good on the trio crimes,” she said.

Com­mit­tee mem­bers also com­plained about the lev­els of crime re­ported at Mof­fat View, Eden­vale and Aka­sia po­lice sta­tions.

De Lange said the is­sues at the three sta­tions re­lated to poor man­age­ment. How­ever, the is­sues had been at­tended to.

A host of com­man­ders and other staff in the sta­tions had been placed on sus­pen­sion fol­low­ing com­plaints.

“Most of the sus­pects we have ar­rested are not com­ing back. We are mon­i­tor­ing our ar­rests on a daily ba­sis.

“We of­ten find that one per­son has been ar­rested more than 20 times for car hi­jack­ings, and all those cases were with­drawn.

“You then ask your­self: How is that pos­si­ble?

“A per­son gets ar­rested, to­mor­row they are out do­ing the same crime,” De Lange said.

She also com­plained about the high num­ber of il­le­gal im­mi­grants al­legedly be­ing re­peat­edly ar­rested for rob­beries.

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