Liquor remains one of the biggest contributors of crime, says Police Minister Bheki Cele.

The Minister made the observation while conducting police stations visits across the country. The visits, he said, remains an integral part of the ministry to better improve service delivery at station level.

The Minister on Friday released the quarter one (Q1) crime statistics for the 2022/23 financial year.

Addressing reporters, he said: “With every police station visited by this Ministry and SAPS management, the availability of liquor in many communities is always a common occurrence. The fact is, the more liquor outlets there are in a community, cases of contact crimes will also be very high”.

On Thursday, the Ministry engaged residents of Khayelitsha together with the role-players in the liquor industry, to raise awareness and at the same time address liquor as a crime contributor.

“We cannot accept as a nation that 227 people between April and June 2022 were killed in places of entertainment such as taverns, pubs and bars. In 749 murder cases, liquor was involved.

“The reality is that liquor was during this reporting period, involved in over 4 000 cases of assault GBH.

In 1 212 rape cases, alcohol was involved during the commission of the crime.

“We urge communities, civil society, religious organizations and various community organisations to look at addressing the role liquor is playing in communities and as a crime contributor.”

He said such conversations combined with awareness programs and action by the SAPS, are important and do lead to prevention of many violent crimes.

The Minister commended all Provincial Commissioners for the significant reduction in a number of priority crimes during this reporting period, in particular Mpumalanga province under the leadership of Lt General Daphney Manamela.

The Mpumalanga province recorded decreases in all contact crimes such as sexual offences, attempted murder, assault GBH, common assault, common robbery and robbery with aggravating circumstances.

During April and June, Mpumalanga recorded a 2.5% decrease in murder cases.

The province noted 9.7% drop in sexual offences.

Trio crimes recorded double-digit decreases.

The Minister said carjacking figures in Mpumalanga decreased by 23.4% over this period.

“Mpumalanga province owes the reductions to high police visibility and intelligence led operations in crime hot spots. We further encourage all Provincial Commissioners to continue to increase their efforts in crime prevention and crime combating operations.

“Most importantly community policing partnerships and expanding the eyes and ears of law enforcement on the ground must be intensified. We also encourage South Africans to work with the police and provide information that can assist in police investigations.

“Police at station level are also directed to continue to improve the quality of service provided to the communities they serve and protect,” he said.

Source: South African Government News Agency

News Reporter