There’s Significant drop in reported crime – South Africa’s Police Minister Bheki Cele

Police Minister Bheki Cele says there has been significant reductions in a number of crimes committed and reported to the police during the last three months of 2021.

Cele said police have recorded significant decreases in most of the crime categories for the quarter.

Releasing the crime statistics in Cape Town on Friday, Cele said there has been a significant reduction in crimes such as common robbery, sexual assault, attempted sexual offences and contact sexual offences.

He expressed concern however at murder, saying it remains worryingly stubborn.

In the three months of reporting, an 8.9% increase in murder was recorded.

The Minister said 562 more people were killed in South Africa between October and December compared to the same period in 2020.

Out of the 6 859 people killed in the country, 902 of them were women and 352 where children. He said 232 of the overall murders were as a result of domestic violence.

Cele said 27 SAPS officers were killed while on and off duty.

The North West province recorded the highest increase of murder cases, up by 24.3% when compared to the corresponding period in the previous financial year.

Fewer people were killed in the Free State and Western Cape provinces, in the last three months of 2021.

“While all provinces are unique in their crime patterns and policing approach, as the Ministry we urge provincial management of the SAPS to self-reflect and sharpen some of their approaches when dealing with contact crimes,” Cele said.

Cele said the top four causative factors of deaths are arguments, vigilantism, robberies and revenge or retaliation.

“A total of 2 599 people were murdered in public places such as an open field, street, parking areas and abandoned buildings. The second most likely place for murder to occur is at the home of the victim or of the perpetrator.

“Liquor outlets were the third most likely place to be killed in South Africa. Some of the increases in murder are attributable to multiple murders where a number of people are killed in one incident. Overall contact crimes committed against a person decreased by 4.0%,” the Minister said.

Cele said there has been a 9.0% decrease recorded for sexual offences.

“Despite this drop, 11 315 people were raped between October and December 2021. This is a decrease of 903 rape cases, compared to the previous reporting period, all nine provinces recorded decreases in rape cases.

“Over 5 012 of the rape incidents took place at the home of the victim or the home of the rapist. 674 rapes were domestic violence related and 632 of rape cases in this category, involved female victims and 42 were males,” Cele said.

The Eastern Cape’s Lusikisiki police station, Umlazi and Inanda police stations in KwaZulu-Natal recorded the highest incidents of rape.

Cele said the decrease in some of the sexual offences, especially rape cases can be attributed to all the provinces increasing their GBV awareness campaigns.

“The service has also ramped up its communication and sensitisation on GBVF crimes through print, television and radio mediums. The publication of convictions in all provinces has increased which serves as a deterrent to perpetrators,” the Minister said.

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