Khutsong is plagued by drugs and violence

Khutsong residents are tired of being victims of crime.

But what sort of picture do the crime statistics released by the South African Police Service (SAPS) in September paint of this township where the citizens have decided to take justice into their own hands?

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Drug-related crimes reported by the Khutsong police station have rocketed in the past two years.

In 2011, 39 such crimes were reported. In 2012 this figure had risen to 124 and the latest statistics record 161 drug-related crimes. That’s a 313% increase over three years.

Reported cases of driving under the influence of alcohol also doubled between March 2012 and March 2013.

The statistics for reported robberies and burglaries reveal a complicated story. The SAPS report these types of crimes in four categories: residential burglary (classified as a property crime); robbery with aggravating circumstances and common robbery (contact crimes against a person); and a category called "all theft not mentioned elsewhere".

In Khutsong, reports of residential burglary have been averaging around the 370 mark for the past five years.

Last year, 348 residential burglaries were reported.

But the contact crimes – robbery with aggravating circumstances (excluding robberies at non-residential premises) – have been increasing steadily, from 79 in 2010 to 123 this year, a 56% increase.

Common robbery and the crimes classified as "all theft not mentioned elsewhere", however, have decreased substantially.

Common robbery halved from 19 incidents reported in 2012 statistics to nine in 2013 and other theft fell from 217 to 145, a drop of 33%.

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