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We might be turning the tide against crime, says Cele as Cape murder rate drops

Despite recent violence on the Cape Flats, Cele told reporters there had been a downward trend in the murder rate.

Police Minister Bheki Cele pictured in Mitchells Plain, in Cape Town, on 27 December 2019. Picture: Kaylynn Palm/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - Police Minister Bheki Cele is celebrating a decline in the regional murder rate.

He conducted several site inspections in and around Cape Town on Friday as part of his safer festive season campaign.

Despite recent violence on the Cape Flats, Cele told reporters there had been a downward trend in the murder rate.

And for the first time in five years, the number of murders between 1-26 December has declined.

Cele said with Western Cape has recorded the lowest murder figures in five years. Since 2014 the murder figures during this time increased year on year.

He said more resources have been added to the Western Cape, such as the anti-gang unit, the army deployment and now the 1,100 new recruits.

“We had Operation Thunder and brought police from other provinces. The commissioner brought extra resources.
Then the information from the anti-gang unit and deployment of the SANDF indicates that we might be turning the tide.”

But crime has persisted, despite interventions. In Beacon Valley, in Cape Town, an 18-year-old was shot in the face on Christmas Day. She is recovering in the hospital. This Mitchells Plain resident said she wanted to see more police visibility in her area because gang violence is out of hand.

“If you go out at night, you are so scared. I mean we pray and we will help those who need it as a community.”

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