Michael Kimberley and Lynne Gadd-Claxton
LIFE may be cheap in Nelson Mandela Bay, but even the metro can boast an oasis of safety in Uitenhage. The latest crime statistics show the small industrial town is one of the safest places to enjoy a fairly crime- free life in the Bay.
The statistics were released by the police yesterday.
Feeling safe and secure is important these days and only three murders were reported in the small town in 2011-12.
Uitenhage, with the biggest car factory on the African continent, boasts an estimated population of 228912.
It is also ranked the lowest in sexual crimes (43), burglaries at a residential property (313), carjacking (5) and burglaries at businesses (156).
Uitenhage resident William Gadd- Claxton said: "It is a lovely, quiet place to live in. I don't feel threatened here."
Gadd-Claxton, a retired police officer, has lived in Uitenhage for the past 23 years. He said he was not surprised that Uitenhage came out tops as the safest spot to live in Nelson Mandela Bay.
But families should not be packing their bags just yet.
A total of 3107 crimes were reported in Uitenhage across 29 different categories.
It also has the second highest commercial crime rate in the Bay (291).
Mount Road police station topped the list.
The other highest recorded crimes in Uitenhage included petty theft (594) and drunk driving (243).
KwaNobuhle resident Nomazima Nkosi said the statistics were not a true reflection of what was happening on the ground.
Nkosi said KwaNobuhle experienced a higher crime rate than other areas in Uitenhage.
"A friend of mine was raped and killed in KwaNobuhle. I was almost hijacked the other day ... the statistics are not a reality."
Police spokeswoman Lieutenant-Colonel Priscilla Naidu said the low crime rate was a result of the sector policing plan.
"We do proactive policing in Uitenhage. The community is always roped in to help," she said.
The spokeswoman, who lives in Uitenhage, said the police would target high-crime areas.
"It works well ... we initiate projects that go hand in hand with the public. Everyone gets involved," she said.