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By Shanice Naidoo

Digital Journalist

Western Cape Premier Alan Winde says increased murder rate ‘disappointing and worrying’

Winde said Western Cape law enforcement and police need to collaborate more.

The Western Cape government said disappointment as the second quarter crime statistics for the 2023/24 financial year exposed a 10.9% surge in murders.

The figures, from July 2023 to September 2023, revealed an increase of 114 murders compared to the same period last year. The province recorded 1 164 murders in the second quarter.

18.6% rise in high-crime areas

The stats also showed that murder rates in the Law Enforcement Advancement Plan (LEAP) deployment areas skyrocketed by 18.6%, surging from 547 cases in 2022/23 to 649 in 2023/24. LEAP operates in high-crime regions such as Delft, Gugulethu, Harare, Khayelitsha, Kraaifontein, Mfuleni, Mitchells Plain, Nyanga, Philippi East, and Samora Machel.

Expressing concern, Premier Alan Winde stated, “The latest figures are disappointing and worrying. But they show that we need to double down and intensify all our efforts to more effectively address violent crime.”

Winde emphasised the need for strengthened collaboration with Saps, municipal law enforcement, and community-based organisations.

ALSO READ: Murder rate drop not ‘statistically significant’

If you do not include the LEAP areas, the overall murder rate in the Western Cape increased by 2.4%. Winde said Saps resources need to be focused on these areas, with the Western Cape government deploying additional law enforcement resources to assist the police.

The trends in LEAP deployment areas varied.

Decreases in homicides were reported in Kraaifontein (11.1%), Nyanga (11.3%), and Philippi East (14.8%), while increases were noted in Bishop Lavis (192.9%), Delft (15.9%), Gugulethu (55.9%), Harare (20.8%), Khayelitsha (2.1%), Mfuleni (56.5%), Mitchells Plain (35.5%), Philippi (56.3%), and Samora Machel (26.5%). Atlantis showed no change.

The Western Cape government said it is analysing factors that contributed to the increase in homicides during the second quarter, including the taxi strike in August 2023, mass murders in Gugulethu, and arguments constituting the majority of murders (33%). Gang-related killings and robbery-related murders also remain significant concerns, it said.

Saps released the annual crime statistics for 2022/23, reporting a 9.2% national increase in murders to 27 494. In the Western Cape, murders rose by 1% to 4 150. 

ALSO READ: Crime stats: 6,911 people survived murder attempts between July and September

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