The crime hotspot in Diepsloot has experienced a surge in violence, with at least 20 people losing their lives in the first three months of this year. As per SowetanLIVE, the area’s alarming murder rate, combined with limited police presence, has triggered another community uprising following a promise by police minister Bheki Cele to address crime in the region just over a year ago. Residents recently staged protests in response to the ongoing crisis, blocking main roads to highlight the high crime levels.
According to police crime statistics released by provincial police commissioner Lt-Gen Elias Mawela, Diepsloot recorded 17 residential robberies in the first quarter of this year, a decrease compared to the 57 cases reported during the same period in 2022. However, this decrease may be attributed to a genuine decline in robberies or a loss of faith among residents, leading to underreporting of such crimes.
Responding to the community’s concerns, police spokesperson Brig Brenda Muridili acknowledged the lack of police visibility and high crime rates in Diepsloot. She explained that the congested nature of the area, significantly at night when there is no electricity, hinders police patrols. While foot patrols by law enforcement agencies are conducted during the day, accessing certain areas becomes challenging after dark. Muridili assured that the station management would continue engaging with community leaders, community-based structures, and various departments to find long-term solutions to the service delivery issues in Diepsloot.
Since the beginning of June, six murders have occurred in Diepsloot, leading to several arrests. Police Minister Bheki Cele had previously pledged to address crime in the township by increasing police presence and deploying detectives to investigate unsolved cases. However, Cele’s spokesperson highlighted that eradicating crime requires a comprehensive approach involving local and provincial governments in addressing the root causes.
Despite plans to develop Diepsloot, with programs including road improvements, there is an urgent need to combat escalating crime levels. The situation in Diepsloot remains a significant concern, and concerted efforts from various stakeholders are required to ensure the safety and security of the community.
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