Liv­ing in a dang er­ous world

KZN records most mur­ders with 3 625, or 10 per day

Weekend Witness - - Ne Ws - JEFF WICK S

KWAZULU­NATAL had a story of hope to tell when the coun­try’s crime statis­tics were re­leased yes­ter­day, but ex­perts said there were still ar­eas of con­cern and a new crime­fight­ing ap­proach is needed.

KZN recorded a slight dr op in c on­tact crimes, in­clud­ing mur­der and sex­ual of­fences, while th­ese rose na­tion­ally.

How­ever, the prov­ince still recorded the most mur­ders with 3 625 — equat­ing to almost 10 peo­ple killed per da y.

This figur e g ave KZN the f ourth­high­est mur­der rate (34,7 mur­ders per 100 000 peo­ple ), be­hind the E astern Cape (52,1), Western Cape ( 48,3) and North­ern Cape (3 7,7).

Lim­popo (13,2) had the low­est mur­der r ate in the c oun­try.

The re­lease of statis­tics com­piled by the polic e sho wcased sig­nif­i­cant dips in­clud­ing a 43% de­cline in truck hi­a­jck­ing, and r educ­tions in car jack­ing and ve­hi­cle theft. Of con­cern were sharp rises in cash­in­tran­sit heists and cases of ag­gra­vated r ob­bery.

Gareth Ne­wham, head of the Ins titute f or Se­cu­rit y Studie s’ gov­er­nance, crime and jus tice di vi­sion, said the num­bers were a stark re­minder of how far South Africa still had to go to re­duce vi­o­lence and crime.

“A sec ond c on­sec­u­tive y ear of in­creases in se­ri­ous vi­o­lent crime such as mur­der, at­tempted mur­der and ag gra­vated rob­bery are of par­tic­u­lar con­cern to all South Africans, ” he said.

“Mur­der is up b y fi ve per cent with an ad­di­tional 809 mur­ders. Rob­bery in­ creases ar e p ar­tic­u­larly c on­cern­ing. Home r ob­bery is up 7 ,4%, with 1 334 more cases than the pre­vi­ous year. Business rob­bery is up by 13,7% with 2 238 more at­tacks, and car hi­jack­ing is up by 12,3% with 1 231 more at­tacks than oc­curred the pr evi­ous y ear,” he said.

Na­tional In­sti­tute for Crime Preven­ tion and the Rein­te­gra­tion of Of­fend­ers spokesper­son J ac­ques Si­bo­mana said that South Africans eltf un­safe, and pos­i­tive statis­tics were cold com­fort to vic­tims. “It is not nec­es­sary to an­a­lyse each in­di­vid­ual crime cat­e­gory be­cause that is not how the mind of the pub­lic works, South Africans ha ve a gen­eral and ag ­ gra­vated f eel­ing of be­ing un­saf e.

“They know that they live in a dan­ger­ous en­vi­ron­ment. Whether at work, at play or at home, the y are at risk of be­com­ing a vic­tim of crime at any time and at an y plac e,” he said.

He said a so­lu­tion t o crime la y in a multi­faceted change. “We can­not con­tinue do­ing the same thing; and change does not onl y lie in la w enf or­ce­ment.

“Ev­ery gov­ern­ment depart­ment, cor­po­rate and civil so­ci­ety or­gan­i­sa­tion is go­ing to have to play their role in re­duc­ing crime. Agen­cies such as Ni­cro must be r ecog­nised and support ed …”

Si­bo­mana said w ork was needed t o pre­vent crime through ad­dress­ing early on­set beha viours.

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