Crime stats bloodbath proves need for devolution

Issued by Gillion Bosman, MPP – DA Western Cape Spokesperson on Community Safety
16 Feb 2024 in Press Statements

Attention editors: Please see English audio by MPP Gillion Bosman attached.

Today’s release of the latest quarterly crime statistics proves that SAPS has totally lost control of the fight against crime in the Western Cape. With murder, attempted murder, and contact crimes continuing to rise across the board, it is clear that urgent change is needed in our province.

The data, which covers the period of October to December 2023, paints a picture of a country sinking beneath a tidal wave of crime and violence. In the Western Cape, murder has increased by 8.6% relative to the same reporting period last year, as has attempted murder (37.6%) and contact crimes (5.6%). These increases – in line with similar changes at the national level – imply that previous progress in the fight against crime is now being undone.

There are some glimmers of hope, with gains continuing to be made in the fight against sexual offences and GBVH. During the reporting period, the Western Cape reported 106 fewer sexual offences compared to the same period the previous year, and 117 fewer cases of rape. But while this is commendable, it does not erase the fact that lives continue to be lost to crime in our province.

The simple reality is that the Western Cape needs the mandate and the resources to totally overhaul policing in the province. In spite of the fact that it is not yet mandated to do so, the DA-led Western Cape Government has taken the fight to criminals with its specially-trained, well-equipped LEAP officers, who have participated in thousands of arrests, confiscated hundreds of illegal firearms, and drastically reduced the murder rate in the areas to which they are deployed. However, without a full policing mandate, our provincial law enforcement entities can only do so much.

The time has come for national government to get out of the way of progress. DA Western Cape spokesperson on community safety Gillion Bosman says: “It is heartbreaking to see progress being undone, and lives being lost as a result. The Western Cape Government has a plan to drastically reduce crime and make our communities safer, but the ANC’s national government continues to stand in the way for political reasons, and prioritise their votes over our lives. We need change, now.”

“It is also vital that the SAPS account for their failures to keep our communities safe. Senior members of the SAPS management will appear before the Western Cape Standing Committee on Community Safety and Police Oversight on the 23rd of February, and I will ensure they account for these results.”