The first three months of 2022 were violent, brutal and unsafe for most South Africans, the quarterly police crime statistics have revealed.
Releasing the statistics on Friday, Police Minister Bheki Cele said the fourth quarter (Q4) of the 2021/22 financial year was marred by increased murders, sexual violence and assaults, compared to the same time period in the previous year.
“All in all these statistics don’t give us a good picture,” said the Minister.
According to the statistics, the country recorded a 22.2% murder increase.
Between 1 January and March 31, reported murders increased from 4 976 to 6 083 – a 1 107 rise.
Sexual offences rose by 1 676, from 12 123 cases to 13 799 cases – resulting in an increase of 13.7%.
Attempted murders recorded an increase of 1 135, rising from 4 582 to 5 717, a 24.8% increase.
With a 6 575 increase, assault GBH went from 36 417 to 42 992.
During this period, contact crimes contract crimes increased by 20 593, from 137 314 to 157 907 – a 15% increase.
The Minister attributed arguments, vigilantism, revenge or retaliation and robberies as the top four causative factors of the deaths.
“A total of 2 268 people were murdered in public places such as an open fields, streets, 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. 1 350 people were killed in that environment,” he said.
Liquor outlets and public transport such as busses, taxis or trains, were the third and fourth most likely places to be killed in South Africa.
A breakdown of sexual offence crimes indicates that rape saw reported cases rise by 1 300. The category saw a 7% increase, from 9 582 cases to 10 818 cases.
Attempted sexual offences in this period increased by 114, from 423 incidents to 547, an increase of 26.3%.
On a positive note, contact sexual offences decreased by three, from 272 to 269.
However, in total, the total sexual offences increased by 13.7%.
Almost half of the cases, a staggering 4 653 rapes took place at the home of the rape victim or the home of the rapist, said Cele. Public parks, beaches, streets, open fields, parking areas and abandoned buildings were the second most likely places for rapes to occur.
Liquor was involved in 1 290 of the rapes. The Eastern Cape’s Lusikisiki Police Station, Inanda Station in KwaZulu-Natal and Delft Police Station in the Western Cape recorded the highest incidents of rape for this quarter.
The 2021/22 Q4 saw carjackings increase by 889, from 4513 to 5 402. Robberies at residential and non-residential residences respectively decreased by 0.4% and 3.5%.
Cash-in-transits cases rose by 26.2%, from 42 cases to 53.
Cape Town Central, Honeydew and Durban Central police stations lead the way in the top 30 stations in 17 community-related serious crimes. Of the 30, 27 are in KwaZulu-Natal, Gauteng and Western Cape. The Eastern Cape, Free State and North West each have a station represented in this category.
Bank robberies have increased by four counts, from one case in 2021 to five counts.
General Thulare Sekhukhune, speaking at the briefing on Friday, said: “The chances that a person might be killed is that 10 out of 100 000, [with] rape, it’s 17.9 per 100 000. Then attempted murder is 9.4 [per] 100,000; assault GBH is 71.0 per 100 000; common assault it’s 75.5 per 100,000; robbery 17.8 per 100 000,” he said.
Cele said the triple challenges of poverty, inequality and unemployment, increasingly encouraged opportunistic criminal behaviour.
Despite this, he said police had made some gains and intercepted greedy criminal syndicates involved in extortion, kidnapping and cash-In-transit heists and drugs smuggling.
“Unfortunately, their collective actions have not yielded the expected results.”