Rights group concerned by increase in sexual crimes

Three victims in the most recent reported offences were minors - the youngest an eight-year-old girl.

FILE: In the last week alone, five cases of sexual crimes were reported in the Southern Cape. Picture: sxc.hu.

CAPE TOWN - A children's rights group has raised concern about what appears to be an increase in the number of sex crimes in the Southern Cape.

In the last week alone, five cases have been reported in Knysna, Mossel Bay and Plettenberg Bay.

Three of the victims were minors and the youngest, an eight-year-old girl, was allegedly raped by her stepfather on Friday.

Plettenberg Bay based anti-child abuse group Green Hearts' Yvette Wilschut says, "The trend in this area seems to be growing, but we desperately need more resources to combat these crimes."

Wilschut says the Family Violence Child Protection and Sexual Offences (FCS) unit based in George only has 17 officers.

"They have to service an area that has a radius of at least 150km, of rural areas included, and they are under [a huge amount of] strain and they're stretched so thinly"