AT least one person is murdered in Nelson Mandela Bay every day and more than one every three hours in the Eastern Cape.
This was revealed after a breakdown of the latest crime statistics – for the period between April last year and March 12 this year – which were released by Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa and national police commissioner General Riah Phiyega last week.
In terms of crime-ridden suburbs, Kwazakhele and New Brighton were rated the most dangerous.
In the Bay, 551 people – or 1.5 every day – were murdered during the report period. Provincially, 3278 people were murdered, averaging nine murders a day.
According to the murder ratio based on 100000 people, the Eastern Cape had the highest murder rate in the country for the fourth consecutive year.
Also in the province, 9239 sexual offence cases including rape, sexual assault and molestation were registered – averaging about 25 victims a day.
In the Bay, a total of 1964 sexual offences were reported to policewith Bethelsdorp having the highest number of cases followed by Kwazakhele and New Brighton.
House robberies during the period also shot up to an average of 1.5 a day in the city and almost five a day in the Eastern Cape.
Business robberies nationally spiked, showing an average of 43 robberies a day – almost two an hour.
In the Eastern Cape, about six robberies were reported a day and in the Bay about two a day.
On average, about one hijacking occurred in the city a day and just less than two a day in the province.
Despite showing a decrease, burglaries in the province and Bay remain in the thousands.
A total of 6761 home burglaries were reported in the city, which works out to about 18.5 burglaries a day. Provincially, 26941 burglaries were reported.
A total of 6508 cases of business burglaries were reported in the Eastern Cape, averaging about 18 a day. Of these, 1911 occurred in the Bay.
A senior researcher at the Institute for Security Studies, Dr Chandre Gould, said police top brass had to focus on increasing crime intelligence-driven operations, developing detectives' skills and resolving the backlog of cases currently at the forensic laboratory.
"If the police increase intelligence gathering they will be able to identify and target the perpetrators involved with the more serious and organised crimes.
"If detectives had more skills training and resources at their disposal it would ensure the swift arrest and prosecution of the culprits.
"Another key issue that needs to be addressed is the forensic department which is over-stretched resulting in some forensic reports taking up to two years to be released."
Gould said it was also important to increase police visibility to assist in curbing general crime.
Provincial police spokeswoman Lieutenant- Colonel Sibongile Soci said various measures had been implemented to ensure the increase in crime was curbed.
"Special operational plans, including the deployment of undercover crime intelligence officers, will continue to ensure that the police make inroads in eradicating crime and that innovative attention is given to crime prevention strategies employed."
She said task teams would be established to address specific crimes in hotspot areas.