“In as much as some of the crimes may seem to be puncturing our hopes in terms of reflections in figures, the reality on the ground is that our detectives and intelligence have turned a new page. In recent weeks we have recovered a significant number of firearms in various districts of the Eastern Cape. MEC, there is a need for us and pertinent stakeholders to redouble our efforts and intensify on programmes that will see us winning the fight against family feuds and hit murders which are motivated by the desire to benefit from insurance companies”, commented the Provincial Commissioner, Lieutenant General Nomthetheleli Mene during the release of the fourth Quarter Crime Stats of the Eastern Cape Province in Alice on Friday, 9 June 2023.
On this day, the Member of the Executive Council (MEC) for Transport and Community Safety, Mr Xolile Nqatha officiated the release of the Crime Statistics for the Fourth Quarter of the last financial year (2022/2023) at the Raymond Mhlaba Local Municipality Council Chambers in Alice.
The event was graced by various stakeholders including politicians and leaders of civil society, who converged at the Amathole District to listen on how the police have fared in addressing various categories of crime in the Eastern Cape.
During the last quarter, the SAPS conducted six major operations, namely, Vhuthu Hawe, Operation Sikhona, Bilateral/Trilateral Cross Border, High Density, Provincial Interventions and Majola Intervention, of which all of them had several good successes, and some are continuing to break the spine of crime syndicates and operatives.
There was a generic decrease in various categories of sexual offences, with a notable decrease of 19.9% on sexual assault cases, and rape showing a decline by 12.7%. However, there is a concern in the OR Tambo District, where two police stations from that district are appearing in the national top 30 police stations, and that is Lusikisiki, which is seating at number 3, and followed by Mthatha at number 5.
The two stations are occupying the top two positions in the provincial list respectively. However for the same period, members from the Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences unit managed to arrest at least 940 suspects for rape. A total of 403 firearms were confiscated among those 6 were automatic rifles with assortment of ammunition, and there was a positive increase on illegal firearms category, where confiscation increased by 57.7%. There was also a positive increase on crimes on drugs, with an increase of 5.8%.
Police remain concerned about the unrelenting incidents of murder, attempted murder, trio crimes and robbery of Cash in Transit, and stock theft.
These categories can be likened to an aching tooth within our communities and are showing elements of stubbornness, despite efforts and operational strategies.
OR Tambo District has three police stations, which are leading the national top 30 police stations in stock theft cases, and that is Qumbu, Mthatha and Bityi. The Nelson Mandela District is leading the provincial list of top 30 stations with high rate of murder cases, those were New Brighton, Bethelsdorp and Kwazakhele. In this category, there are seven police stations from the Eastern Cape, which are appearing in the list of top 30 police stations.
Several positive results were recorded during the period, as a total of 18 840 suspects were arrested for various crime categories ranging from contact to second hand goods related incidents. This simply means on average, more than 6 000 people were arrested in a month, and with over 200 arrested daily. Police are unperturbed in their efforts to fight crime in general. A full report on the 4th Quarter Crime Statistics for the Eastern Cape is available on the SAPS website (www.saps.gov.za/services/crimestats.php)
MEC for Community Safety, Mr Nqatha said, “Our research has revealed that in areas where there is an existence of community policing forums, crime has decreased significantly. In this financial year, the Department of Community Safety will continue to establish more Community Policing Forums.
The most problematic districts in the Eastern Cape are Nelson Mandela Bay, Buffalo City and OR Tambo districts. These districts contribute the most to the following crimes in the Eastern Cape, murder, , attempted murder, assault, robbery, and sexual offences”, concluded MEC Nqatha.