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’13,000 prisoners serving life sentences nationally’

The Western Cape had just 65 life sentence prisoners in 1995 while there were 433 in the country.

FILE: Major General Jeremy Vearey says there are currently 845 prisoners serving life sentences in the Western Cape. Picture: stock.xchng

CAPE TOWN - Major General Jeremy Vearey says there are currently 845 prisoners serving life sentences in the Western Cape and just over 13,000 nationally.

These figures have increased dramatically over the past few years.

In comparison, the Western Cape had just 65 life sentence prisoners in 1995 while there were 433 in the country.

Vearey spoke at the third and final day of the 35th Annual Crime Stoppers International Conference on Wednesday.

Vearey adds some of the biggest aims of Operation Combat are to mobilise communities against gangs and their criminal activities and to weaken the capacity of gangs operating in targeted communities.

The 2013/2014 crime statistics were released in Pretoria last month by Police Minister Nkosinathi Nhleko and National Police Commissioner Riah Phiyega.

The statistics indicate that South Africa is less safe than it was two years ago.

It's emerged murders, house robberies, and hijackings are on the increase.