Written by Umamah Bakharia
Crime statistics in Gauteng have increased drastically in the first three months of this year.
This is according to Gauteng Police Commissioner Lieutenant-General, Elias Mawela, who released the province’s fourth quarterly crime statistics which showed a recorded increase of 45.2% in murders. The stats also indicate that most of the murders were a result of interpersonal relation conflicts such as arguments, misunderstanding and road rage.
He stated that when the previous statistics were released, it was anticipated that the ‘honeymoon’ period was over following the lifting of Covid-19 restrictions.
Speaking to Radio Islam, criminologist and police expert Simon Howell says the sales of liquor and post curfew from the Covid-19 pandemic have played a role in the increase of crime.
“Gauteng tends to exhibit crimes that are more orientated towards organised criminal networks so for instance kidnappings and abductions and the likes are fundamentally linked to an economic concern,” says Howell.
He adds that different provinces seem to have different crime motives.
“In Gauteng, a lot of the crime is driven by underline concerns of economic benefit,” he says.
Howell argues that even though there is an important role for the police to play in crime, it comes down to conversations within society as to why crime has increased.