THE ANC whip of Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality's safety and security portfolio committee, councillor Marion Harning, said the increase in violent crime in the city was a result of the disparity between rich and poor.
"Obviously we are never happy to see a rise in stats. It's the socio-economic conditions due to the economic downturn that causes violence.
"Only when we address the disparities can we expect a change in the statistics. It's very sad that the conditions are like this. This is why we are working so hard to implement our various programmes.
"The statistics nationally are better and it gives us hope that we [the Bay] will follow this trend," Harning said.
DA chief whip and member of the portfolio committee Gustav Rautenbach said the police needed to "jack up productivity".
"We need trained, competent police and detectives because the success rate of [cracking] cases reported is worrying," Rautenbach said.
"Another factor that's worrying is that the president gave amnesty to 35000 prisoners. It's a big concern and it doesn't help the police.
"Also, the wheel of justice is so slow – the cases take so long before they are dealt with.
"Alcohol abuse and social problems play a big role in the crime and free bail is granted so easily," he said.
While mayor Zanoxolo Wayile welcomed the release of the crime statistics by Minister of Police Nathi Mthethwa, his office wanted to peruse the results first so he could comment from an informed and balanced premise.