Weekend Witness - - Ne Ws - JEFF WICK S Booze fu­els KZN mur­ders AMIL UMR AW

CAR the ft and hi­jack­ing s dr opped dra­mat­i­cally in K waZulu­Natal, by 6,3% and 10 ,9% r es­pec­tively.

The mark ed decr ease in c ar theft has been hail ed as the r esult of vis­ibl e polic­ing me asures em­ployed acr oss the pr ovince.

KZN s till has 2 4 c ars s tolen and six hi­jack­ing s e very da y — ac cord­ing t o the much­a waited polic e crime s tatis­tics which w ere r eleased ye ster­day.

With K waZulu­Natal’s pr oxim­ity to the Mo zam­bi­can and S wazi bor ­ ders, high­end v ehi­cle the ft and cross­bor­der smug­gling is un­der ­ stood t o be boom­ing in the pr ovince. • je ff.wicks@wit­ THE crime statis­tics re­leased yes­ter­day show that KZN has the high­est mur­der count of just over 3 600 and high sex­ual as­sault r ates of al­mos t 12 000.

While the of­fi­cial s tatis­tics for lo­cal ar­eas w ere not y et r eleased, Lu­cas Holtzhausen, from Safe City in Pi­eter­mar­itzburg, said about 7 0% of the mur­ders he has en­coun­tered in Pi­eter­mar­itzburg are liquor r elated and t ake place in and ar ound t averns or b ars.

He also said the ma­jorit y of se xual as­sault case s hap­pen be­hind closed doors out­side of cam­era ar­eas, so it is dif­fi­cult t o pr event them.

Ac­cord­ing to the Com­mu­nity Po­lice Fo­rum’s (CPF) Ger­ald Harry, who is in charge of the CBD ar ea, pr os­ti­tu­tion and c om­mon r ob­beries ar e the ma­jor con­cern this y ear in the cit y.

“The pros­ti­tutes are still giv­ing us a lot of has sles. Common r ob­beries ar e also a huge is­sue. Other than that, the crime rate on the whole in the CBD is not ex­tremely high or out of c on­trol.”

Mean­while, polic e s tation c om­man­ders and offic ers from the Piet er­mar­itzburg clus ter of the S APS g athered yes­ter­day at Arthur Blax­all hall to dis­cuss the lo­cal crime trends, and look for so­lu­tions.

Their pre­sen­ta­tion, which dealt with crime over the past month only, showed an in­crease since last year in most cat­e­gories of crime.

Rep­re­sen­ta­tives at the meet­ing called for more team­work be­tween the var­i­ous de­part­ments t o try t o deal with the scourge of crime. • amil.umr aw@wit­

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