Note that the crime year of 2013/2014 will hereafter be referred to as 2014.
The good news is that the 12 murders are 4 less than the previous year and substantially lower than the 26 in 2012. However, attempted murders shows the reverse as it’s at 17 compared to the 8 in 2012. That violence, likely fueled by tik, has worsened is most distinct where robbery with aggravating circumstances has increased by 92%. Common assault is up 8%. There were also 2 carjackings, the first in 4 years. Culpable homicide was up from 6 incidents to 14. There were also 3 kidnappings.
There were 1081 burglaries at residential premises which was 147 more than the previous year. Atop of that, aggravated robbery at residential premises doubled from 17 to 35. Aggravated robbery at non-residential premises (businesses) increased from 34 to 50. The latter two crimes show how brazen criminals are becoming, prepared to also rob in daylight and when residents or business owners are on the premises.
There were also 105 more car break-ins.
The biggest success seems to be that driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs dropped 33% but considering that drug-related crime went up, that makes no sense. It’s also possible that it hasn’t been a focus as the Knysna SAPS are allegedly on the verge of throwing out hundreds of driving-under-the-influence cases as the backlog is immense and lab tests a mess.
That sex crimes are markedly down will produce a lot of cynicism because it defies common sense that women have been spared a worsening crime climate. Is it possibly that even less are reporting it because it’s such a difficult process rarely resulting in prosecution? Are children falling through the cracks too? That should be the greatest worry. It is utterly impossible than in a worsening crime and growing unemployment situation that not only did neglect and ill-treatment of children crimes lessen but that there were only 5 cases!
The Knysna SAPS have made no mention of the bomb scares, service delivery protests, hate crimes and N2 closures – that there were only 9 public violence cases is seemingly unbelievable. Drug dealers are openly operating on our streets and the integrity and loyalty of the police is seriously questioned by the public.
Statistics are a guide. Paranoia doesn’t help but there’s sufficient common knowledge of what is happening to us and our neighbours for us to realise that the situation is even worse than what has been detailed. Although there has been positive effects in some areas where neighbourhood watches have been initiated through dutiful volunteers, the uncomfortable fact is that, overall, Knysna is losing the crime war. Hiding behind higher walls, like children pretending the boogeyman lurking under the bed will go away, does not alter the damaged future we’re heading towards.
Knysna, both citizens and police, need to do a lot more! And the politicians need to stop failing Knysna by their refusal to treat crime as an important issue on their agenda.
You can view the full ‘Knysna 2014 Crime Statistics’ at Knysna Crime Watch.