TO: ALL MEDIA
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
DATE: 16 MARCH 2023
COMMITTEE DISAPPOINTED BY RISING CRIME LEVELS IN GAUTENG
The Gauteng Provincial Legislature’s Portfolio Committee on Community Safety has expressed concern on the rising number of reported crime incidents in the Province.
This comes after the Provincial Police Commissioner Lieutenant-General Elias Mawela presented the Province’s 3rd Quarter Crime Statistics for the 2022/23 Financial Year (Oct-Dec 2022) before the Portfolio Committee on Community Safety this week.
The stats indicate a 7.1% increase in Gauteng crime levels compared to this time last year – contributing 27.1% to the national crime rate.
The Committee acknowledges that the period under review is the busiest time of the year which includes festive season. A first festive season post Covid -19 pandemic without National State Disaster restrictions.
The committee acknowledged the efforts of SAPS in implementing the safer Festive Season operational plans under the theme “More Boots on the Ground towards Enhanced Police Visibility” and ‘O Kae Molao’.
Even with those efforts crime levels still increased significantly – much to the Committee’s discontentment.
The Committee is concerned that Gauteng is gradually regressing back to the days when it was infamously dubbed the ‘gangsters’ paradise’, characterised by lawlessness and senseless violent crimes.
Assault with the intention to cause Grievous Bodily Harm (GBH) and Common Assault were named as the main categories that contribute to this increase. The two crimes contributed to over 50%, which translates to 25 642 of the 50 039 counts in the contact crime category. Theft has also played a major role in the increase with 33 088 counts of shoplifting and commercial crimes recorded during the reviewed period.
Committee Chairperson, Honourable Bandile Masuku, said, “The overall picture painted by these crime statistics is that of a province at war with itself, and as the Committee we believe that things cannot continue this way. Police cannot win this fight alone; a multipronged approach is required to solve and curb the scourge of crime in the Province.”
He called on communities, business, faith-based and civil society organisations to “join hands together” with Police to fight and prevent crime.
He continued, “Crime fuelling activities such as the irresponsible use of alcohol and drugs must have no place in our communities. These are without a doubt among the main contributors to crime,” he continued.
The Committee also noted the limited human and infrastructure resources allocated to the Police as contributors to failed efforts in the fight against crime.
“We call for the active participation of civil society in the fight against crime. Each and every citizen of this Province must take ownership of the rising levels of crime and not to solely put the blame on Police. Most crime happens in communities with locals knowing but not reporting them before or after they have happened,” Hon.Masuku added.
The Committee will continue to support Gauteng Police in their efforts to bring down these high crime statistics. It also notes the role played by the Department of Community Safety in providing additional resources, and the Premier’s commitment to make crime fighting the Provincial Government’s priority.
The Committee further calls on the speedy implementation of the Integrated Crime and Violence Prevention Strategy that was recently adopted by Cabinet, hoping that it will go a long way in reducing Gauteng’s crime levels.
ISSUED BY GPL’S MEDIA SERVICES ON BEHALF OF CHAIRPERSON OF THE PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON COMMUNITY SAFETY, HONOURABLE BANDILE MASUKU
For interview requests with the Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee please contact: Mr Thebe Khumalo on 072 266 1021 email: TKhumalo@gpl.gov.za
GAUTENG PROVINCIAL LEGISLATURE