South Africa

CRIME STATISTICS

Western Cape police commissioner Patekile to deploy more cops after contact crimes increase markedly

Western Cape police commissioner Patekile to deploy more cops after contact crimes increase markedly
Western Cape police commissioner Lieutenant-General Thembisile Patekile during the crime statistics briefing in Greenpoint on 7 June 2022 in Cape Town, South Africa. (Photo: Gallo Images / ER Lombard)

Western Cape police commissioner Lieutenant-General Thembisile Patekile says the additional deployment of just under 200 new police officers in the province will help to make communities safer. The province saw 27,051 reported contact crimes in the space of three months.

Contact crimes in the Western Cape, especially murder and sexual offences, have increased, said Western Cape police during a briefing to unpack the latest crime statistics. The briefing took place on Tuesday at the provincial headquarters of the South African Police Service (SAPS). 

The briefing was led by provincial police commissioner Lieutenant-General Thembisile Patekile and the Western Cape MEC for police oversight and community safety, Reagen Allen. The briefing followed last week’s release of the fourth-quarter crime statistics by Police Minister Bheki Cele. 

Provincial police commissioner Lieutenant-General Thembisile Patekile (right) and the Western Cape MEC for police oversight and community safety, Reagen Allen, during the crime statistics briefing in Greenpoint on 7 June 2022 in Cape Town, South Africa. (Photo: Gallo Images / ER Lombard)

From 1 January to 31 March, there were 27,051 reported contact crimes in the Western Cape, including murder, sexual offences, attempted murder, assault and common robbery. The number of reported contact crimes in that period was 24,215, representing an increase of 11.7% over the same period in 2020/21. Between January and March, there were 1,015 reported murders, with 1,933 reported sexual offences. 

While other contact crimes had increased, attempted murders (884) and robbery with aggravating circumstances (4,359) had decreased in comparison with January-March 2020/21. 

Between January and March, there were 1,298 reported rapes, an increase of 204 (18.6%) over the same period in 2020/21. 

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The Harare Police Station in Khayelitsha had the highest reported number of murders (59), Oudtshoorn had the highest number of reported attempted murders (41) and Delft had the highest number of reported rapes (69) during the quarter. The Delft police station also had the highest number of reported contact crimes during the quarter – 856. 

During the briefing, it was reported that the police stations in Delft, Kraaifontein, Mfuleni, Harare and Khayelitsha, previously identified for their high reported crime figures, were among eight police stations which had been prioritised by the SAPS for intensified policing efforts.

During the briefing, the issue of police allocations and resourcing – a trigger topic between the SAPS nationally and the Western Cape provincial government – came up. 

Allen, who has been MEC for police oversight and community safety for just more than 40 days, said that at police stations such as Camps Bay or Rondebosch, there was one officer to 300 people, while in Mitchells Plain, this ratio rose to one officer to 650 people. “If we go to Harare, it’s almost 900,” he said. 

Allen said that in this financial year, 1,118 new police recruits would be added to the province. 

Patekile also announced the deployment of between 180 and 200 new police officials to the Western Cape from other provinces. “They are now here for two years,” said Patekile.

The new police officials will form part of ongoing plans to make communities safe, said Patekile. DM

 

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