Whereas the number of contact crimes, although still frighteningly high, have decreased such as murder and attempted murder, as well as common assault and assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm, the real shocker in the Eastern Cape, which will come as no surprise, is that robbery at residential premises is up by 128% and robbery at businesses is up 75%.

This is way above the national norm, where robbery at residential premises is up 26% and at businesses 30%. House robberies are the most frightening, as crimes such as these target you while you are still in your home. The fact that this figure has jumped so high means criminals are becoming more brazen, and do not fear arrest.

It is disappointing that sexual offences have risen by 5%, as the victims of these offences are predominantly women and children. This proves the decision to abolish the specialised units for family violence, child protection and sexual offences has proved to be a mistake.

I raised the issue of house robberies in a meeting two months ago between the Portfolio Committee on Safety and Security and the Provincial Commissioner of the SAPS and was assured that there is a task team dealing with that matter in the Metro, which is the hardest hit part of the Province. It also emerged at that meeting that the trend in house robberies for the first three months of the new financial year (April to June 2009), had increased in this province. At the meeting I also requested the Department of Safety and Security to monitor the SAPS and report back to us as to their successes.

The fact that reported crimes of the driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs has increased by 48% is a reflection of good police work in nailing drunken drivers and the SAPS must be commended for this.

The DA believes to fight the high rate of crime in the Province we need to return to the specialised units, and increase the number of detectives, improve visible patrolling and have more effective rapid response units.

For further information, please contact Bobby Stevenson, MPL on 082 775 3444

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