Policeman gaurding two of the seven arrested robbers of a heist early in the morning, Henrick Potgieter Avenue in Rooderpoort. Picture Mujahid Safodien 09/10/2003

Johannesburg - Crime in Gauteng – SA’s province notorious for high levels of violence – is down.

The latest crime statistics released in Parliament on Thursday morning by Safety and Security Minister Nathi Mthethwa show that crime is down in all but three of the 29 official categories in the province.

Murder, sexual crimes, armed robbery, home invasions and child abuse statistics have all dropped – some of them significantly – according to the figures released for April 2011 to March 2012.

This is good news for crime-rattled Joburgers, with the most worrying crimes such as assault with intent, aggravated robbery, carjackings and house robberies all showing a downward trend.

Only theft out of or from motor vehicles has gone up by 1 785 incidents, from 37 443 to 39 228. The number of reported incidents of public violence has also risen, from 234 cases around the province to 311. The third crime category that has seen a rise is the illegal possession of firearms and ammunition, up by 258 incidents – from 3 665 cases to 3 923.

But according to experts, this increase can be seen as a good thing because it is a crime category heavily reliant on proactive policing and detective work – so the figure rises when police do their job more effectively.

In Alexandra, while aggravated robbery and child abuse have increased (from 402 to 430 and from 23 to 24, respectively) , murder has gone down (from 74 to 58), as well as sexual crimes (from 243 to 216) and residential burglaries ( 455 - 356).

In Sandton there has been a marginal increase in murders (from 6 to 9), while aggravated robberies (652 - 469), carjackings (99 - 69) and house burglaries (1088 - 803) have all dropped.

Hillbrow has experienced an increase in murder (from 50 to 56) and kidnapping (35 -38), but other categories such as sexual crimes (11-6), child abuse/neglect (62-49) and aggravated robbery (901-760) are all down.

Rosebank, which had no murders reported in the area in 2011, saw one murder in the April 2011 to March 2012 period, while attempted murder also rose from zero to two incidents. Culpable homicide (from 1 to 3) and residential burglaries increased (41 - 51); all the other categories dropped.

The Star