Weekend Witness - - Opinion -

THE mur­der rat e has risen t o almost 4 7 killing s a da y. This is a sober­ing st atis­tic. W e are not at w ar, e xcept, it w ould seem, with oursel ves. Na­tion­ally, the rat es of most vi­o­lent crimes in­creased over the past y ear, but w hile some of th­ese de­creased in KwaZulu­Natal, there w as lit tle cause f or c el­e­bra­tion in the pro vince, w here almost 10 peo­ple are killed dail y.

The st atis­tics are re­leased e very y ear, and e very y ear there is the breast­beat­ing and gnash­ing of t eeth, e xpres­sions of c on­cern, crit­i­cism of the gov­ern­ment and the crim­i­nal jus­tic e s ys­tem, and prom­ises t o chang e thing s. But the sit­u­a­tion rarel y chang es. The chang e w e need is f ar more fre­quent re­leases of up­dated crime st atis­tics. I t is of lit tle use no w t o kno w w hat the crime sit­u­a­tion in a polic­ing dis­trict w as a y ear ag o. But it w ould be use­ful t o kno w this month that there w as a spik e in a par tic­u­lar crime in the prec ed­ing month. This is empo wer­ing, both f or the polic e and their cust omers — us.

Th­ese are num­bers that c ould w ork f or us, en­abling the po­lice t o be proacti ve in their w ork, and us in t aking the req­ui­site pre­cau­tions.

It is time f or the polic e t o st op treat­ing the st atis­tics re­lease as an an­nual e vent, and t ake us int o their c on­fi­dence more re gu­larly.

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