MEC must spell out time-frame for quarterly crime statistics

I am today challenging Safety and Liaison MEC Weziwe Tikana to spell out the time-frames for the release of quarterly crime statistics in the Eastern Cape.

In June the national cabinet took a decision that crime stats would be released every quarter, in addition to the annual, comprehensive release.

Crime-battered residents of the Eastern Cape cannot simply rely on an annual release of crime stats which are 18 months out of date when published.

The Western Cape government has already announced that quarterly crime stats for that province for the period October to December 2016 will be published in January 2017.

Last week I tabled a legislature question to the MEC requesting information as to when these quarterly crime stats will be released for the Eastern Cape.

The provincial commissioner of police, Lt-Genl Liziwe Ntshinga, should brief the provincial portfolio committee on safety, as does her counterpart for the national portfolio committee.

Communities have the right to know what crimes are trending in their areas, so they can take the necessary steps to ensure their safety and take counter-measures.  This is particularly so for residents living in crime hotspots such as the Bethelsdorp policing area, which made it into the national top 10 of crime-ridden communities.

The DA believes that the release of quarterly crime statistics is a step in the right direction but ultimately these stats should, in a digital world, be available on at least a weekly basis, if not in real time.

We are now in the era of digital communication where web-based and community applications can play a major role in combatting crime if they have the information.

The DA is striving to create a forward-thinking province, where access to information that can improve the safety of everyone, should be readily available. — Bobby Stevenson MPL, Shadow MEC for Safety and Security