Gang violence remains major contributor to WC murder rate


File: Maxwell Hadebe died in a hail of bullets outside the tavern he owned.


CAPE TOWN - Gang violence remains one of the biggest contributing factors to the high murder and attempted murder rates in the Western Cape, provincial police commissioner Arno Lamoer said on Monday.

"Our murder figures show a 12.8% increase," he told reporters in Gugulethu.

"It&39;s important to note that...18% of the murders are gang-related. That means when children are killed in the crossfire, and when gangsters kill one another."

Vigilante killings contributed five percent to the murder rate in the province in the 2013/14 financial year, while murders resulting from domestic arguments made up one third of all murders during the same period.

Attempted murder in the Western Cape increased by 2.5%t, with a third of the total being gang-related.

The areas with the highest murder rates remained Nyanga, Harare, Gugulethu, Khayelitsha, Delft and Mitchell&39;s Plain.

Mitchell&39;s Plain had the highest number of gang murders, followed by Bishop Lavis, Delft, Elsie&39;s River and Philippi.

Lamoer insisted gang violence could not be solved by police alone.

"Yes we arrest, we confiscate, we convict these people, but at the end of the day, it&39;s not only a police problem... it&39;s a societal problem," he said.

"The fact that more and more young children, [some] as young as nine years old, are being used to courier drugs around for these gangsters, to carry guns for these gangsters -- that is really a concern for us."

Lamoer said communities should play a bigger role in helping police get drugs and guns off the streets.

"The more guns... we can confiscate, the more drugs we can confiscate, the better for all of us in society," he said.

Over 2000 firearms were seized in the 2013/14 financial year.

Police confiscated R122-million worth of drugs, and 460,000 litres of alcohol.

"These are all generators of crime," Lamoer said.

- Sapa

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