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Despite being the only province in the country with a Community Safety Act, the Western Cape remains one of the most crime-ridden areas in the country.

Only Gauteng topped the province in respect of the numbers of reported crimes in 2018.

Gang violence is rife and, according to the most recent The State of Urban Safety Report, Cape Town specifically has the highest murder rate in the country.

So why are current community safety measures in the province not working?

I think it's unfair to say it's not working. We know from reports that reported crimes are down. Especially those where communities are involved, like theft out of vehicles, theft of vehicles.

Gideon Morris, Head of Department - Western Cape Department of Community Safety

Speaking to Cape Talk last month, newly elected Western Cape premier Alan Winde highlighted the urgency of bringing down the province's staggeringly high murder rate.

Morris agrees that violent crime is still proving to be a problem.

The crimes that really are dependent on intelligence and on good detective work - like murder, attempted murder - those are the ones that we are really battling in make some inroads.

Gideon Morris, Head of Department - Western Cape Department of Community Safety

Morris says the Western Cape government has communicated a promise to prioritise community safety.

We have received a very strong mandate from our political leadership that safety is going to be elevated in terms of priorities.

Gideon Morris, Head of Department - Western Cape Department of Community Safety

Listen to the full interview below:

This article first appeared on CapeTalk : Combating crime in the Western Cape - what's going wrong?

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