FS MEC says more work to be done to eradicate crime

The MEC of the Free State Department of Police, Roads and Transport Butana Komphela. Photo Mark Steenbok

The Free State MEC for the Department of Police, Roads and Transport says murder, gangsterism, sexual offences and drug abuse remain a big problem in the province.

Butana Komphela was speaking at a presentation of the overall crime statistics in the province today.

He says the increased levels of murder in specifically Botshabelo, Kroonstad, Thabong, Welkom and the Mangaung cluster remains worrisome. There were 50 more murders in the province from 2015/16 compared to the previous year of 2014/15. This is an increase of 5,3%.

Komphela attributed the alcohol abuse over weekends between 22:00 and 04:00 as one of the contributing factors for the increase of murder.

“Illicit mining and the complexities associated with this also contributed to the high murder rate in Welkom, Thabong, Virginia and Bronville. Bodies are found on mining premises, whilst sometimes it is clear that the person was killed elsewhere and the body dumped there,” says Komphela.

He says social behavioural patterns which are difficult to monitor by the police, also contributed to the increase in contact crimes, specifically murder and rape.

“Domestic violence often occurs in the privacy of a home and equally often resulting in murder, rape and other forms of contact crimes,” he said.

Komphela calls on communities to assist the police in eradicating these domestic crimes happening indoors.

He further applauded the 2.8 million members of the South African Police Service (SAPS) for the overall reduction of 14.8% in crime over the last ten years.

“We successfully achieved an overall reduction of 2.4% on all serious community reported crimes. We are proud to announce that this has been the trend for the past three years,” says Komphela.

-Mark Steenbok