Young men most at risk in gang violence, report says
ernment’s shadow report on murders in the province during 2011/12 shows, were the result of stabbings, which accounted for 49 percent of cases, followed by shootings (26 percent) and severe assaults (17 percent).
The report was compiled by the province’s Community Safety Department, using data obtained mainly from police crime statistics, and mortuary figures supplied by the Health Department’s forensic pathology services.
The report suggests that in areas known for gang violence, the number of murders as a result of shootings was significantly higher than the provincial norm.
“The rate and number of murders committed in known gang areas has increased by significant margins since 2008, while over the same period of time little success has been achieved with the prosecution of murder cases in those areas,” the report found.
Further, the data points to particular concern over the brutality and audacity of many of these murders – often assassination-style, involving multiple gunshots and in broad daylight.
Data around the victims showed that 63 percent were aged between 18 and 35, with the second group (23 percent) aged 36 to 54.
“When this information is compared to the demographics of the province, it is clear that young men between the ages 18 and 35 years are the most at risk as potential murder victims in the province,” it said.
The majority of victims (58 percent) were classified as black, followed by coloureds ( 38.4 percent), and 2 percent white.
Community Safety MEC Dan Plato warned that it was only through an holistic approach, involving all levels of society, that the war against crime could be won. “This war starts by diverting the youth at risk towards meaningful opportunities.”
Plato said when pupils left high school, then went on to tertiary study, they were in a much better position to find employment, and far less likely to get involved in a life of crime.
“Preliminary enrolment figures from the Northlink College and Department of Community Safety partnership show that the vulnerable and unemployed youth in our crime- affected communities are eager to be educated, and are seeking opportunities to build lives that they value,” he said.