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Western Cape records 8.6 percent increase in murders

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Capacitating the anti-gang unit with more members is among the plans of police in the Western Cape to address what it calls an unsettling crime picture in the province.

Six police stations in the province, including Mfuleni, Gugulethu, Nyanga and Khayelitsha are among the top 10 for reported murders nationally.

Police say contact crimes are particularly concerning.

Provincial police authorities today outlined the 2023 third quarter crime statistics during a media briefing in Gugulethu.

For the period under review, the province recorded an 8.6 percent increase in murders.

A 37.6 percent increase in attempted murders and 14.3 percent increase in robbery with aggravating circumstances.

Police say contact crimes have risen by 5.6 percent, 1 770 incidents more than compared to the same period the year before.

Western Cape Police Commissioner Major General Thembisile Patekile says data shows that illegal firearms are the weapons of choice in murders and attempted murders, followed by knives and sharp objects.

“We have got 200 members plus that we appointed at brigadier on operation Shanela to do high intense operations in hotspot areas within those stations. We are receiving additional 100 members on lockdown 3 from other provinces which is with the assistance of the National Commissioner who is bringing those people down and we have added 40 odd members with the anti-gang unit which will be starting on Monday. We are appointing a commander of the anti-gang unit at the level of a brigadier who will now be focusing on gangs.”

Patekile says collaboration with other law enforcement agencies, integrating of Artificial Intelligence and conventional means of policing are being employed.

“We are using the CCTV cameras; we are using the drones in policing; we are using many other ways of ensuring that we place we can also observe with assistance of the city. We have got capabilities to say there’s something. The shot spotter, which is a gun detection system, which has been installed in areas like Nyanga, Manenberg which detects the gun fire from the crackers and everything and we may not at the time arrest the person but within our response we do most of the time, find the suspect around in possession of guns in the area.”

Western Cape Premier Alan Winde says with a growing population, police remain severely under-resourced.

Winde says the fight for devolution of policing powers will continue, but that every resource is being ploughed in arresting the rising levels of crime.

“From a population point of view, we should be closer to 28 000 that what we should have, and so we will continue to fight. I can’t fight with you on that because of course you are not getting the resources. we will take that fight up again at a national level. We need those resources coming in but, in the meantime, we must make sure that we can come in with the resources that we have, we will have another discussion about leap deployment. That meeting is already set up to say how do we get the force multiplier going but also critical that we bring those other layers in that we can as a province.”

Sexual offences have decreased by 4.9 percent for the period.

Source: SABC News

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