Crime stats: Nhleko must pressure Nxesi over rural safety improvement

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Given that Police Minister, Nathi Nhleko, today expressed concern about the great distances between police stations in rural areas, the DA believes that he needs to engage with the Minister of Public Works, Minister Thulas Nxesi, to pressure him to consider initiating a strategic project to improve rural policing facilities and infrastructure.

Minister Nhleko must also engage the Minister of Justice, Michael Masutha, about better co-ordination if there are court-related challenges.

Today’s presentation on the crime statistics for the first three-quarters of the 2016/17 financial year revealed that 46 people were killed on small holdings and farms during this period.

This is compared to 50 persons killed in the entire four quarters of the previous financial year.

Acting National Police Commissioner, Kgomotso Phahlane, further revealed that between October and December last year, there were 27 incidents of attempted murder, 73 incidents of attempted house robberies, 8 attempted rapes and 10 cases of common assault on small holdings and farms.

In the first three-quarters of this financial year, contact crimes decreased by 1.9% compared to the previous financial year but murder only decreased by 0.1%.

The DA’s own analysis of the ten-year trend in murder between 2006/7 and 2015/16 show that it is clear that murder is on the rise at an alarming pace in rural areas.

This analysis shows that in the North West province, the five police stations showing the highest increase in murder, between 200% and 700%, over this 10 year period – Setlagole, Mooinooi, Mothutlung, Mooifontein and Kgomotso – are overwhelmingly rural.

The same holds true for the five worst performing towns in Mpumalanga where the murder rate increased by between 133% and 200%; as well as in Limpopo (between 200% and 400%); KwaZulu-Natal (between 150% and 700%); the Free State (233% and 800%); the Eastern Cape (220% and 400%) and the Northern Cape (200% and 600%).

Today’s presentation also revealed that stock theft increased by 2% (438 cases) between the first 9 months of the 2015/16 financial year and the first 9 months of the 2016/17 financial year.

The data presented today in conjunction with the DA’s analysis show an urgent need for the establishment of rural safety units, which the DA has repeatedly called for.

The DA will not rest until the safeguarding of the lives and properties of our vulnerable people who live in rural areas are prioritised.

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