Sexual crime doubles on the North Coast

About seven people are being raped every month on the North Coast.

This is according to the national crime statistics released by police minister Bheki Cele yesterday (Tuesday).

The numbers gave a disturbing insight into the state of our local communities with the amount of overall sexual offences reported at the Umhlali police station almost doubling from last year, sitting at a whopping 92 cases from last year March to this April.

There were 78 reported cases of rape, 24 more than last year and 12 reported cases of sexual assault, four more than last year.

Also read: Latest crime statistics for SA 2018

Umhlali SAPS spokesperson Vinny Pillay, said rape cases mainly affected township residents of Upper Tongaat, Shaka’s Head and Shakaskraal. He said the increase of local taverns seemed to be directly related to sexual crimes.

“Alcohol and drugs are really affecting our communities. We find that such cases are often a result of alcohol and drug abuse.

“It is a norm that almost every weekend women are getting raped after leaving taverns or by men who are returning home after a night of drinking. Often the perpetrators of sexual crimes are known to the victim.”

Pillay said sexual offences were on the rise in spite of about 14 awareness campaigns carried out through the year in the most affected areas.

On a positive front, murder, house robbery, burglaries, and carjacking showed a decline from last year’s statistics.

Carjacking, which plagued the area last year, saw a 60 percent drop this year. House robbery decreased from last year’s 19 cases to five this year while house burglaries showed a drastic drop from 249 cases last year to 32 this year.

Pillay said that although this was not good enough, the decline in those cases was due to the combined efforts of the community, private security and the police.

“Neighbourhood watches and private security companies have been working closely with the police to combat such crimes. This shows that results come when the community works together with the police and not against us. If we could see a similar pattern happen in areas such that are largely affected by sexual crimes, we would probably also see a decrease. Community participation is key.”

Correction: Umhlali SAPS has confirmed that about seven people are raped every month on the North Coast, not every day as originally stated.

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  AUTHOR
Erica Abrahams
Journalist

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