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Concerted effort needed to stop crime

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Police Minister Bheki Cele confessed that it was a bad day for him to have to release the information

Police Minister Bheki Cele has released the crime statistics for the 2017/18 financial year. He revealed that 20336 murders were recorded nationally, which means that 57 people are killed in SA each day. Picture: Armand Hough / African News Agency (ANA)

ALTHOUGH crime is down in the Northern Cape, “unfortunately” was a word used often by Major-General Norman Sekhukhune when going through the national crime statistics in Parliament yesterday.

Unfortunately, more than 30000 serious crimes were reported between April 2017 and March this year and, unfortunately, in many of the categories crime is up.

Murder in South Africa has increased for seven consecutive years, topping 20000 for the period under review. On average, 57 people are murdered in this country every day.

Other key figures are 18233 attempted murders, 50108 sexual offences, including 40035 cases of rape. There were 156243 reported assaults and 167352 involving grievous bodily harm; 138364 robberies with aggravating circumstances and 22343 at residential properties.

It is clear from the statistics that the busiest stations when it comes to serious crimes are those in the city areas, Cape Town, Joburg central, Durban central and Pretoria central among them, but for murder, six of the top eight are in the Western Cape.

Police Minister Bheki Cele confessed that it was a bad day for him to have to release the information.

Not only was he shocked at the figures, but he revealed that for two years the government security cluster had not met.

The emphasis now must shift to what is to be done by Cele and the security cluster to improve law enforcement in our communities.

But the police alone cannot bring down crime; that takes a concerted effort from us all, in keeping watch over our suburbs to ensure all children have a viable future, dealing with unemployment, inequality, violence and drug abuse, reporting crime and sharing information with the police.