Alarming crime statistics for Eastern Cape sparked concerns: MEC

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The Eastern Cape MEC for Community Safety, Xolile Nqatha has expressed concerns over an increase in crime in the province.  This comes as Stats SA has revealed that murder in the province has increased by over 30% in the second quarter, compared to the first quarter, with attempted murder increasing by 30%.

It has also emerged that OR Tambo District Municipality, Buffalo City and Nelson Mandela Bay metros are the hotspots of the province.

Crime stats also showed that contact crime is the most prevalent in the Eastern Cape. Nqatha says there is also an alarmingly growing trend of mass killings and shootings in this province.

The recent spate of mass killings across the province has been described as a major contributor to the increase in murder cases. But high concerns go to the three hotspots.

Many people live in constant fear as a dark cloud of a possible murder hung over them at all times.

“We are very concerned, especially with areas like NMB, BC and OR Tambo as our hotspots. We are worried because it is gravitating towards where people are living in fear in their own homes, but we are not helpless in this as SAPS together with the government are putting together programs to try and work around this issue,” says Nqatha.

Organised crime which includes gangsters and syndicates is another threat to society.

“Crime is becoming more organised and therefore there are territorial fights against various groups, whereas drug-related syndicates, and some relate to extortion, where they demand some shops to pay money. Some people are kidnapped for ransom, which happened recently in East London. That is why we must organise ourselves in order to get to these organised criminals,” explains Nqatha.

Contact crime is the most prevalent in the province. The police have declared war against crime

Provincial Commissioner Nomthetheleli Mene says, “Contact crime is also a major challenge in the eastern cape, very prevalent, but we have already done a lot to try and solve some issues, like with the Bityi case, We already have many suspects apprehended, even in the case at Uitenhage, and here in new bright, we have already seen progress.”

The province has also seen an increase of 11% in sexual offences crimes. Nqatha says this too was a call for concern and to intensify efforts to protect victims.

Concerns about escalating crime levels ahead of the release of Eastern Cape crime stats: