ActionSA FS Crime Stats: Government Must Invest in Crime Combating Initiatives To Ensure Safety of the Citizens

The Minister of Police, Bheki Cele released crime statistics from 1 January 2023 and 31 March 2023. Free State has shown a slight improvement in reported crime stats for the fourth quarter of 2022/23 that were released by Minister Cele.

This does not impress ActionSA considering that the province has reported:

  • 694 cases of rape
  • 343 cases of attempted murder
  • 640 cases of stock theft
  • 3212 cases of common assault with the intention of causing grievous bodily harm

There has been a spike in the following crimes:

  • 51.1 % of attempted murder
  • 15.9% of common assault
  • 19% of carjacking
  • 2.4% of kidnapping

Park Road is one of the top 30 stations in the country with an estimation of 2000 serious crimes reported between January-March 2023.

Our oversight visit in January 2023 revealed that in 2017 R82 million was budgeted to overhaul, modernise and expand Park Road Police Station, to date an alleged sum of R48 million has been paid to at least three different contractors who have since been dismissed for poor performance and no one has been held accountable for this fruitless and wasteful expenditure.

What was even more frustrating was that about eight police vans were parked for, what seemed like weeks, due to minor mechanical issues; three of the vans were immobile due to tyre punctures, two were parked because of dead batteries and three needed thorough mechanical examinations as it was not clear what the problem was.

This is the busiest Police Station in the Province, if it can be allowed to be in this state, it is no wonder law-abiding citizens live in fear while criminals operate with impunity.

It is not surprising that in this short time, the province reported 640 cases of stock theft. This has been a sore point for farmers in the province affecting towns next to the border gates.

Our security forces have abdicated their role to keep our people safe, leading to porous borders.

ActionSA believes that this tepid approach to dealing with crime will not serve the Free State people well. This will require strong political will, and determined leadership to provide a credible alternative to the current failed system.