Welcome to the Garden Route Forum Dave. I attended a crime summit last week and the statistics provided for the area show a definite increase in crime in our area. In reality this news is not surprising as there is a persistent infux of families into the area. There were obvious hotspots provided by the statistics, but in my limited experience these tend to move around according to what criminals would regard as easy targets. The most notable figures the statistics revealed is the following ( to me anyway):
Crime statistics are only as good as the community and local authorities allow them to be. A good example would be that recent statistics show that crime in the Western Cape is higher than in Gauteng. This may be true, however I believe this is only true because the WC are better at keeping statistics than Gauteng as well as the fact that the communities are better at reporting crime than before. Given South Africa's level of domestic violence one needs to bear this in mind when considering statistics.
Ok back to our area. The statistics show an increase, but the concentration of crime is predominantly as a result of alcohol or drug abuse. So much so that a plea went out to all communities to report known shebeen and/or drug "houses", which is where it all begins. Majority of violent crime is also due to the same. With the persistent infux of people to our area, crime increases proportionately, but as alarmist as this may be, it cannot be compared to the larger cities, simply because I believe our local police are better at what they do, because the numbers are so much smaller and the communities are more willing to be involved. This is not to say we are not concerned at the levels of crime. Any levels of crime is cause for concern, but with smaller communities participating with local police law enforement has a much better chance at minimizing the increase.
To summarize. Crime is on the increase, but violent crime related to armed robberies, hikackings etc. are not commonplace and the police are very effective at catching the perpetrators.