The release of the 4th quarter crime statistics, January – March 2023 for the 2022/23 financial year revealed that the Western Cape’s 14,1% reduction in the murder rate, is the highest in the country. This is a decrease of 143 murders from 1 015 murders during the 4th quarter of the 2021/22 financial year to 872. This is also lower than the 904 murders which were recorded in 2020/21.

In addition to this, it also confirmed earlier sentiments that homicides in the Law Enforcements Advancement Plan (LEAP) areas decreased by 9% from 468 cases in 2021/22 to 428 in 2022/23, when compared with the same period of the previous year. The areas where LEAP is deployed are Delft, Gugulethu, Harare, Khayelitsha (Site B policing precinct), Kraaifontein, Mfuleni, Mitchells Plain, Nyanga, Philippi East, and Samora Machel. Other high crime areas in which they are deployed are Atlantis, Bishop Lavis and Hanover Park, along with Lavender Hill, Steenberg and Grassy Park. These statistics demonstrate that while crime is still disturbingly high, the Western Cape Government’s Safety Plan is making a difference, and that the deployment of LEAP officers has an impact in the areas served.

Decreases in homicides were recorded in the following areas in which LEAP officers are deployed:

Atlantis (23%),

Bishop Lavis (10%),

Gugulethu (5%),

Harare (8%),

Khayelitsha (17%),

Mfuleni (6%) and

Samora Machel (2%).

Increases in homicides were recorded in the following areas in which LEAP officers are deployed:

Delft (12%),

Mitchells Plain (25%),

Nyanga (47%),

Philippi (28%) and

Philippi East (45%).

Premier Winde said: “The latest figures are encouraging. They reflect the hard work our women and men in blue are doing in working with us as a united front to further beat back crime. Fighting crime is complex but we are demonstrating that by utilizing data, evidence, and technology, we can reduce crime. We, however, still have a very long way to go. Our job is far from done and we must continue with this momentum, using the Western Cape Safety Plan as our guide, in using the resources that we have we must keep battling crime. Keeping resident’s safe means offering them dignity. And we as the Western Cape Government, along with all of our important partners in law enforcement, will do everything possible to keep fighting crime.”

Earlier today Premier Winde met members of the Swartland K-9 and Rural Safety Units. He also did a walkabout in the Abottsdale area of the Swartland municipality. He conveyed his deep gratitude to officials for sacrificing their time and personal safety to fight crime. He thanked both the officers and their canine companions across the province for all they do daily in keeping citizens safe, adding “your time and effort are never taken for granted. The provincial government and our residents salute and thank you for working so hard to make the Western Cape safer each day.”

Western Cape Minister of Police Oversight and Community Safety, Reagen Allen says the “deliberate, direct, evidence-based and data-led deployment of LEAP officers in the 13 priority areas is part of the reason why the Western Cape has experienced such a significant reduction. LEAP is making the impact that we are committed to making. I am especially pleased that we no area in our province is the murder capital of the country.”

Minister Reagen Allen added: “As much as the decreases are welcoming, I am alarmed by the high increases in some of the other areas. Gugulethu, Mitchells Plain and Philippi East are close to 30%, along with Delft and Nyanga that have on a regular basis been increasing, are of particular concern. This just makes us more determined to with aggression combat the ruthlessness of the heartless murderers in these communities. Our intention is to make the lives of criminals unbearable. They do not belong in our communities, instead they should be behind bars.”

Gangs related murders remain an ongoing concern thorn in the Western Cape, with 110 of the 152 murders nationally occurring in this province. Nationally, murder increased by 3.4%, with the Western Cape contributing 13,9%.

The total contract crimes in the country increased by 3.7% and in the province, there was an increase of 4% for the period with the Western Cape contributing to 19.1% of all contact crimes in the country.

Minister Allen added: “I will be engaging the Provincial Police Commissioner, Lieutenant General Thembisile Patekile for a deeper analysis into the statistics, and to also establish how we can further improve on what was achieved. It is critical that additional interventions are found to address the areas where the rate is increasing. We should always remember that we all have a role to play in combatting crime, regardless of where it might be occurring,” concluded Minister Allen.

Source: Government of South Africa

News Reporter