Hiding behind crime stats

Ron Middleton, Plumstead

I believe the authorities are hiding behind statistics when they report on the percentages on crime going up or down (“Crime stats a mixed bag,” Bulletin, October 26).The public want to know how many murders, rapes break-ins etc are occurring, complete with culprits getting apprehended, tried and taken out of society/punished, compared to the many who get off scot free and are left to continue being a menace to the public.

It makes more sense say there are 3 000 murders and 5 000 rapes happening day after day than to say there has been and increase or decrease of 0.8%. It will indicate the extent of the problem more effectively.

This will also be a better way to measure whether those who are appointed or elected to look after our safety and security are doing the jobs they are being paid to do .

In her letter in the same issue of the Constantia Bulletin, the councillor, Carol Bew, expresses “amazement” that people are quick to complain to the media instead of phoning the department concerned. Of course they can and should do this and sometimes it helps, but all too often nothing is done.
Crime has been going on for years in all our suburbs without effective restraint or controls. I would like to know what measures someone like Ms Bew, in her own capacity, has taken to combat crime in our suburb.

* Carol Bew responds: I have to agree with Mr Middleton that crime is indeed out of control in our City.

Crime prevention and control is a national government competency, hence our South African Police Service.

We in the Province and City only have an oversight capacity in dealing with this crime.

As a ward councillor, I have allocated
R250 000, or one third, of my ward allocation to the prevention of crime by means of a dedicated law enforcement officer for Ward 73.

He is passionate and keen and doing a great deal of overtime in playing his part to assist with enforcing the City by-laws and supporting other law enforcement bodies in the prevention of crime.

I have also allocated more than R500 000 over the past three years for the installation of licence-plate recognition CCTV cameras in the ward. These have proved highly effective
in combating
crime.

I have in the past been an active patrolling member of the Plumstead Neighbourhood Watch and continue to be “on patrol” daily as I drive through the ward.

I would like to encourage all residents to join their local neighbourhood watch and become part of the team actively fighting the scourge of crime in our beautiful city.