The latest crime stats, for the first quarter of the 22/23 financial year reveal a bleak picture of escalating crime in the Eastern Cape. Our people are being murdered, raped and robbed at an alarming rate.
There were 1200 murders recorded over the three months from April to June 2022, up from 1020 reported for the same period last year (up 17%). The Eastern Cape again has the highest per capita murder rate in the country, at 18 per 100 000.
Despite the frightening escalation in the murder rate, there has also been a significant uptick in property-related crimes.
Home invasions (house robbery) and burglaries, along with breaking into and theft of vehicles are sending shock waves through communities. The criminals are at the gates, no longer is a person’s home a place of refuge.
Robberies at residential properties increased 9.1% compared to the same period last year, up from 453 cases to 494 cases. Non-residential robberies also rose, from 570 cases from April to June 2021, to 633 cases for the same period this year.
Carjackings also increased by 24.2%, from 327 to 406 over the three months under review.
There was a decrease in sexual offences recorded for the period, but it is still unacceptably high at 1848 cases in three months. That is an average of 20 sexual assaults a day.
What we need are high visibility patrols that will assure residents that police are on the beat and keep the criminals at bay.
We also need the political will that will ensure our police members are adequately resourced. We cannot have ongoing problems with 10111-call centres, or police stations unable to respond to call-outs because they don’t have any vehicles!
We need to stand together as a community and say enough is enough. Communities, together with businesses and security companies, need to work with the SAPS to fight the criminal element before our society is completely overrun.