Crime stats show criminals 'taking full advantage' of load-shedding: Winde

22 May 2023 - 11:15
By TimesLIVE
Premier Alan Winde on patrol with LEAP officers in Hanover Park  on Friday night.
Image: Office of the premier Premier Alan Winde on patrol with LEAP officers in Hanover Park on Friday night.

Criminals are taking advantage of load-shedding under the cover of darkness, especially when it comes to property-related crimes. 

The correlation between blackouts and crime is evident in a snapshot of statistics compiled by the SA Police Service (SAPS) for the Western Cape. 

“Community members often complain to me about the link between load-shedding and crime. Criminals are taking full advantage of rolling blackouts, preying on law-abiding citizens under the cover of darkness,” said premier Alan Winde after joining the city’s Law Enforcement Advancement Plan (LEAP) members on patrol in Hanover Park. 

Winde said apart from the devastation wreaked by load-shedding on the economy and jobs, it also left communities vulnerable to thugs. 

A sample of contact crimes committed between December 2022 and January 2023 in the province included murders, attempted murders, aggravated robberies, rape, sexual assault, assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm and assault common.

Property crimes analysed included burglaries (residential and business), theft from motor vehicles and theft of motor vehicles. The overall findings indicated the following percentages of crime committed during load-shedding:  

  • contact crime: 23.7%;
  • property crime: 29.2%; and
  • provincially, on average, 25.7% of the sample analysed occurred during load-shedding. 

“From the analysis, it is clear that the sub-categories of property crimes contributed mostly to the percentage of crimes committed during load-shedding,” said the office of the premier. 

The average contribution of crimes committed during load-shedding per policing district are as follows:  

  • City of Cape Town: 25.4%;
  • Cape Winelands: 25.9%;
  • Central Karoo: 20.1%;
  • West Coast: 28.0%;
  • Garden Route: 26.7%; and
  • Overberg: 23.4%.

Police stations with the highest volume of crimes committed during load-shedding are:  Delft, Bishop Lavis, Nyanga, Worcester, Harare, Da Gamaskop, Durbanville, Cape Town Central, Ravensmead and Table View.

Police oversight and community safety MEC Reagen Allen extended his sympathies to the family of a LEAP officer who was killed last week in Crossroads. 


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