New statistics reveal that over 3400 people in the Western Cape, including nearly 700 children, were kidnapped between 2015 and 2019.

These statistics are according to the Democratic Alliance’s (DA’s) Mireille Wenger, who was speaking at Parliament last week, reports The South African.

From 2015/16, 767 people were kidnapped of which 160 were children, which equals 21%. From 2016/17 a total of 616 people were reported kidnapped, of which 117 were children or 19%.

From 2017/18 a reported 662 people were kidnapped of which 156 of 24% were children. In 2018/19, 681 people were kidnapped of which 138 or 20% were children. In 2019/20, 756 people were kidnapped of which 125 or 17% were children. This equals a total of 3482 kidnappings of which 696 or 20% were children over the entire five years.

“The number of child kidnappings has remained relatively stable year on year, however, we would want to see a decreasing trend instead,” Wenger added.

“The Department of Community Safety intends to prioritise the monitoring of child kidnappings due to the increasing prevalence thereof,” responded Community Safety MEC Albert Fritz during the Parliamentary questioning.

“Our intention is to develop a tool in conjunction with the Western Cape Children’s Commissioner and Department of Social Development to ensure that cases are monitored and tracked through the Court Watching Brief unit.”

The DA is encouraged by this commitment to tackle child kidnappings.

“The trauma and devastation that this particularly cruel crime causes, needs active attention from authorities,” Wenger said. “It is therefore encouraging that the Western Cape Departments of Community Safety, Social Development and the province’s Children’s Commissioner are teaming up to develop a tracking tool to ensure that these crimes are properly prosecuted by the criminal justice system.”

Picture: Pexels

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