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Lamoer concerned by WC crime stats

WC Police Commissioner Arno Lamoer says he’s gravely concerned over the high murder rate.

WC Police Commissioner Arno Lamoer says he’s gravely concerned over the high murder rate. Picture: EWN.

CAPE TOWN - The Western Cape provincial Police Commissioner Arno Lamoer says he's gravely concerned by the province's high murder rate.

The 2014 crime statistics paint a bleak picture showing that murder has increased by 12.8 percent in the Western Cape over the last year.

That amounts to almost 3,000 murders over the 2013/2014 period.

Nyanga and Mitchell's Plain are among the areas with high murder rates.

Lamoer says these figures are of grave concern.

"We are aware of the crime stats as it's a great concern for us, especially the murders. I think we're really trying to do our utmost best to bring that figure down. But we can only bring it down with the assistance of all different role players in our communities."

The Community Safety Department on Saturday met with residents of Khayelitsha and Somerset West, among others, to address their concerns.

MEC Dan Plato said, "Police visibility, the youth gangs issue, the drug problem in Cape Town were discussed. There was also referral to the release of the crime stats specifically the high murder figure and the high attempted murder figure will also receive attention."

At the same time, many Cape Town communities have called for increased police visibility in their areas following the release of the latest crime stats.

PROTESTS DIVERT SAPS RESOURCES

Lamoer says dealing with ongoing protests is also draining police resources.

The province has been hit by a spate of protests over the past few months.

The Overberg Town of Grabouw came to a virtual standstill last week because of violent demonstrations over services and housing.

Protests have also broken out near Philippi this morning.

Lamoer says officers often have their hands full dealing with such incidents.

"This really diverts my resources to different areas. When there are protests actions, roads are closed and we have to deploy police officers to go and look after the grievances of community members and not fight crime."