There is an alarming upward trend in farm attacks and violent crimes in the Eastern Cape, based on the latest quarterly crime statistics released today.
The fourth quarter crime statistics dealing with the period from January to March 2021, paint a bleak picture of rising violent crimes in the province.
Farm attacks have almost doubled, from 11 attacks between January and March 2020, to 21 attacks for the same period this year. This, combined with the high stock theft figures, have the potential to cripple the agricultural sector.
The red lights have been flashing for some time, and these latest figures highlight the vulnerability of the farming community.
“I have constantly raised the issue of rural safety and have called for a rural safety summit in the Eastern Cape.
If this trend continues throughout the year, it could have a catastrophic impact on rural safety and the viability of the agricultural sector in the province, said Bobby Stevenson, the DA Shadow MEC for Safety and Security.
The staggering 21,5% increase in murder for the province, with 938 people killed in the three months under review, is a sign that violent crime in the Eastern Cape is not subsiding.
Also concerning is the number of truck and car hijackings and the spate of cash in transit robberies recorded.
Truck hijackings were up 17,5%, to 47, car hijackings up 3,2% to 257 and 11 cash-in-transit heists took place in the three months under review.
These crimes directly impact the Eastern Cape’s economy and need to be addressed as a matter of urgency.