SA’s grim crime picture “improving” – Police Minister Bheki Cele

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While the crime picture remains grim and not ideal, Police Minister Bheki Cele says it is certainly getting better.

Contributing to this, he said, is “time planning and deployment of resources, where they are needed most”.

The Minister said this on Friday while releasing the 2021/22 quarter two crime statistics.

He said the decreases in aggravated robberies, including cash-in-transit (CIT), and residential and non-residential robberies, “should give South Africans hope that the SAPS is making inroads in policing these crimes”.

“Certainly, more can and will be done to ensure that South Africans are and feel safe,” said Cele.

The statistics revealed that property related crimes decreased by 6.2% during the three months in the reporting period.

Cele said police continue to clamp down on stock theft, which recorded a decrease of 9.2%.

Compared to the corresponding period in 2019/2020, there was a 15.4% decrease in this crime.

Stock theft decreased by 9.2%, with decreased cases in seven of the country’s nine provinces.

The highest volume decrease was recorded in the Northern Cape, with 119 less incidents.

Burglary

Burglary at non-residential premises recorded a double-digit increase of 18.2%.

The Minister said the increase came as the country enjoyed less strict lockdown regulations, as the country returned to normal economic activity.

Assault

In this reporting period, there was an 18% increase in all assault categories.

A total of 72 762 cases of common assault and assault GBH were opened with the police in the three months of reporting.

The Minister said over 13 000 of the assault cases were domestic violence-related.

He said alcohol and drugs were involved in 3 695 of the assault GBH cases.

“The top three areas of occurrence of these assaults are at the home of the victim or perpetrator, public places and liquor outlets.

“Arguments remain the top motive for assault cases. Over 13 000 of the assault cases were reported for this reason, followed by retaliation or revenge,” he said.

Trio crimes

On robbery, and residential and non-residential robberies, a 6.7% and 1.4% decrease were recorded, respectively.

The statistics revealed that aggravated robberies, such as car-jackings, increased by 3.5%, compared to the previous corresponding period.

This figure would have increased by 1.9% if compared to same period in 2019/2020.

The Harare and Nyanga stations in the Western Cape, and the Tembisa station in Gauteng recorded the highest incidents of car-jackings.

There were 388 less residential robberies in this period, compared to the corresponding period in the previous financial year.

The Mpumalanga and Free State provinces are the only provinces to record percentage increases in residential robberies.

CITs

Police, he said, are starting to make much needed gains in responding to brazen gangs targeting cash vans.

Twelve less cases of CIT heists were committed between July and September this year.

Cele welcomed the 18.8% decrease in CITs, saying it was largely owed to heightened police visibility and the interception of would-be gangs through intelligence gathering.

He said the 52 attacks in three months were unacceptable and called on police to respond firmly.

Contact related crimes

With 298 more cases recorded in this period, all contact related crimes – arson, and malicious damage to property – increased.

This was a 30.2% increase compared to the same time last year.

There were 28 988 cases of contact-related crimes reported to the police during this reporting period. This was 1 997 more such cases compared to the previous reporting period.

“The quarter two 2021/2022 crime figures demonstrate the extent of the wanton looting, arson and damage to property and loss of life that occurred during the July unrests,” said Cele.

Kidnappings

A total of 2 000 kidnapping cases were recorded during this period.

Cele said the majority of the kidnappings reported were high-jacking related, followed by kidnappings which were robbery and rape related.

Out of a sample of 620 cases, 52 kidnapping cases were ransom related and most occurred in the Gauteng province.



Seven kidnappings were as a result of human trafficking.