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Safety MEC: Release crime stats more often

Eyewitness News has been tracking various shooting and suspected gang-related incidents during May.

A tough life: A Mitchells Plain gang leader shows EWN his tattoo. Picture: Giovanna Gerbi/EWN

CAPE TOWN - There's a need for crime statistics to be published more regularly, Western Cape Community Safety MEC Dan Plato said on Friday.

The Western Cape has been hard hit gang violence in recent weeks, with at least 31 people being killed in and around Cape Town since the beginning of May.

Since the beginning of May Eyewitness News has been tracking reported incidents, which include shootings, stabbings and other suspected gang-related attacks.

EWN has so far recorded 31 murders in several areas, including Delft, Mitchells Plain, Elsies River, Steenberg and Lavender Hill.

The provincial government has repeatedly called for the reintroduction of specialised units to deal with the gang violence plaguing the Western Cape.

The police have previously said fighting gangsterism requires more than just law enforcement campaigns. They've called on Cape Town communities to address the socio-economic ills which plague many of the areas affected by gang crime.

Earlier this month Western Cape Police Commissioner Arno Lamoer said more could be done to stop gang violence in the province. He called on members of the public to help police solve the problem.

MEC Plato said: "Our aim is to release figures quarterly as far as possible, but more often for the public to be aware. It will also allow us to follow the trends and see where we need to shift our resources to."

In the most recent incident of suspected gang violence in the province a 16-year-old boy was gunned down in Daint Street in Rocklands, Mitchells Plain on Wednesday evening last week.

The two gunmen responsible for the teenager's death fled the scene.

Last week Thursday Western Cape police arrested a man for allegedly stabbing two people at a funeral in Mitchells Plain.

One of the victims died at the scene, while the other was taken to hospital.

Police said they could not confirm whether the attack was gang-related.

It's estimated there are some 150,000 gang members in the province.

The Western Cape community police board said it believes many of the gangs operating in the province have crime intelligence superior to that of the police.