NEED FOR FREQUENT RELEA SES
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.