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Lamoer: Sustainable approach needed to fight crime

Arno Lamoer says police in the province want a sustainable approach to deal with criminal activities.

Western Cape Police Commissioner Arno Lamoer. Picture: Chanel September/EWN

CAPE TOWN - Western Cape Police Commissioner Arno Lamoer says police in the province want to put in place a sustainable approach to effectively deal with criminal activities in identified hotspots.

Lamoer on Monday gave a breakdown of the province's crime statistics at a briefing in Gugulethu, following the release of the annual statistics in Pretoria last week.

He told reporters there's been a noticeable increase in crimes such as murder and robberies while sexual offences have decreased by 8.1 percent.

Lamoer says more than 40 percent of violent crimes occure in their top six priority area, which include Nyanga, Philippi, Gugulethu and Khayelitsha.

"That's where we want to make a difference. And as I said it's not a quick fix, it's a process we want to put in place that can be sustainable in years to come."

He says gang violence has been a major contributor towards the increase in the province's murder rate.

The highest number of gang murders was recorded in Mitchell's Plain, followed by Bishop Lavis, Delft and Philippi.

Lamoers says gang violence can't be solved by police alone, urging communities to do more in assisting them to getting guns and drugs off the streets.

More than 2,000 firearms were seized over the past financial year.

At the same time, Lamoer says detective training will be further prioritised in the province.

The commissioner explains training for detectives will be bolstered.

"We will also bring back the uniform investigation branches and what this essentially means is that we will prioritise cases. We will take more serious cases to more experienced detectives and less serious to junior detectives for them to improve their skills."

CRIME STATS

Lamoer said 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 believes the high levels of violence in the province are driven by substance abuse.

He added that R122 million worth of drugs have been confiscated over the past financial year.