The government recently released the crime statistics for South Africa as was recorded from April 2009 to May 2010. According to the SAPS incidences of crime have decreased in most categories.
The murder rate dropped with 8.6% and attempted murders occurred 6.1% less.
This could possibly be due to more visible policing in the run up to the 2010 World Cup. It is expected that next year’s figures will be even better, because it will include the stats from the period in which the Soccer World Cup was held in South Africa.
Before the stats were released, Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa said that the statistics were not meant for “political point scoring”, according to a report by IOL. This should definitely be the case. What matters most is whether people actually feel safe in South Africa.
Recently, when it was revealed that crime in Khayelitsha had been reduced by 70% in the last five years, News24 reported on some political bickering between the DA and the ANC about which party actually was responsible for the reduction.
What really matters is that even though crime has been reduced, incidences such as this one still occur: IOL reported on 23 August that a 21 year old woman, Lihle Ngwendu, was found dead in Harare, Khayelitsha, after allegedly being sexually abused and strangled.
Creative Consulting & Development Works spoke to Nosakhe Mhlatywa who lives in Khayelitsha. She was robbed twice on her way to work. She feels unsafe and now asks her husband to escort her to the train station. Crime can happen anywhere; you’ll see someone now, without knowing what will happen in the next hour.
While both the DA and ANC were taking credit for reducing the crime in Khayelitsha, another Western Cape township has been named the “murder capital” of the province for a fifth year running. “Between April 2009 and March 2010, 217 people were murdered in Nyanga. This was an increase from the 2008/09 period, which saw 208 people murdered there,” IOL reports in another article.
While conducting a needs assessment of neighbourhood watch organisations, Creative Consulting & Development Works realised the important role that they could play in providing safety and security. Community Policing Forums can do a lot to reduce the crime rate and because they are drawn from the communities themselves, this can help to make the communities feel safe and protected. However, they need to be properly supported.