The DA in the Eastern Cape wants Safety and Liaison MEC Weziwe Tikana to “spell out” the timeframes for the release of quarterly crime statistics in the province.
In June, national cabinet took a decision that crime statistics would be released every quarter, in addition to the annual, comprehensive release.
National annual statistics released earlier this month showed the murder rate in the Eastern Cape was up 9.9%, from 3.32% in 2014/15 to 3.64% in 2015/16, carjacking was up 24.3%, from 769 in 2014/15 to 956 in 2015/15, while truck hijacking was up 58.8% from 34 in 2014/15 to 54 in 2015/16.
DA MPL Bobby Stevenson said in a statement on Thursday that residents in the Eastern Cape could not rely on an annual release of crime statistics that were 18 months out of date when published.
“The Western Cape government has already announced that quarterly crime stats for that province for the period October to December 2016 will be published in January 2017.”
“Last week I tabled a legislature question to the MEC requesting information as to when these quarterly crime stats will be released for the Eastern Cape,” said Stevenson.
Stevenson said communities had the right to know which crimes were trending in particular areas so that residents could take necessary steps to ensure their safety.
“This is particularly so for residents living in crime hotspots such as the Bethelsdorp policing area, which made it into the national top 10 of crime-ridden communities,” he said.
Stevenson said while the DA welcomed the release of quarterly crime statistics, the numbers should in a digital world, be available on a weekly basis in real time.
“We are now in the era of digital communication, where web-based and community applications can play a major role in combating crime if they have the information,” said Stevenson.
– African News Agency (ANA)