NEWS & ANALYSIS

Crime-fighting strategies are not working – DA KZN

Party says province continues to be SA’s rape capital

Quarterly crime stats show that KZN’s crime-fighting strategies are not working

21 February 2021

The Democratic Alliance (DA) in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) calls for SAPS services within Inanda and Umlazi to be prioritised.  This following the recent release of extremely worrying Third Quarter crime statistics for the province, which show an increase in almost every priority crime category during the period October to December 2020.

The figures, released by National Police Minister Bheki Cele late last week, show that KZN continues to be South Africa’s rape capital, with the Inanda and Umlazi SAPS stations again reporting the highest number of rape cases in the entire country with increases of 2.4% and 4,5% respectively.

The two stations also featured prominently in terms of the following;

- Sexual offences, with Inanda SAPS again recording the highest number of incidents in the country
- Murder, with the province experiencing a 10.5 % increase and Inanda and Umlazi again featuring prominently and
- Attempted murder, with Inanda and Umlazi again highlighted.

The crime statistics for KZN are a clear indication that anti-crime strategies - along with continuous threats to criminals from Minister Cele - are not enough to reduce key priority crimes in our province. The fact that we have seen an increase in such crimes since the previous quarter means that the current plans are not working.

The Inanda and Umlazi SAPS stations continue to be South Africa’s rape capitals. The DA has, on numerous occasions, urged the relevant officials to use the crime statistics to redirect key resources in order to tackle the upsurge in these serious crime categories.

Yet we continue to see staff shortages, untrained staff and detectives and under-resourced stations when it comes to domestic violence and rape cases. This, in turn, has led to ongoing increases in the number of cases reported but low arrest rates.

Alarmingly, KZN also experienced overall increases in terms of robbery with aggravating circumstances, attempted robbery, robbery at residential premises and robbery at non-residential properties. Highlighted under the housebreaking statistics is Plessislaer, which reported the highest number of residential premises robberies in the country. This with 67 cases and a staggering increase of 42.6% since the previous crime figures.

The stats also see the Pinetown district worst off when it comes to non-residential robberies, with a massive 144% increase from the previous quarter’s stats. It is now critical that SAPS commit to working with functioning Community Policing Forum structures and private security companies in order to align strategies to reduce such incidents.

It is clear that more needs to be done in order to keep our people safe. The DA strongly believes that anti-crime programmes need to be strategic and focused and that SAPS needs to actively identify the challenges and come up with productive solutions to protect KZN’s citizens. In particular, we believe that the Inanda and Umlazi SAPS must be prioritised in this regard.

The DA will be calling for answers. In addition, we will take proactive steps to get answers for ourselves and those SAPS stations which continue to top the crime stats in the country will be our priority for oversight and community engagement in the very near future. We will not stand by as crime ruins our province.

Issued by Sharon Hoosen, DA KZN Spokesperson on Community Safety and Liaison, 21 February 2021