File picture: Pexels
File picture: Pexels

Crime stats: Driving under influence edges closer to 100K mark, knife favourite weapon

By Staff Reporter Time of article published Jul 31, 2020

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Cape Town – The crime that has shown the biggest increase in the 2019/20 national statistics released on Friday are sexual offences discovered as a result of police action – from 7 97 to 9 614, an increase of 20.5%.

Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is next on the list, increasing by 13.7% from 82 912 cases to 94 275.

The statistics cover all reported crimes between 1 April 2019 and March 2020, with the country’s Covid-19 lockdown beginning on March 27.

Carjacking increased by 13.3% to 18 162 cases; robbery at non-residential premises by 3.3% to 20 651; robbery with aggravating circumstances by 2.8% to 143 990; common assault by 2.1% to 165 494; truck hijacking by 1.7% to 1 202; sexual offences by 1.7% to 53 295; and murder by 1.4% to 21 325.

On the other hand, shoplifting declined by minus 0.5% from 60 167 to 59 883; attempted murder by minus 1.8% from 18 980 to 18 635; burglary at non-residential premises by minus 2.1% from 71 224 to 69 713; and assault with the intent to inflict grievous bodily harm by minus 2.5% to 166 720.

Knives are the most favoured weapon used by perpetrators of crime: in 4 531 cases for murder; 1 865 times for attempted murder; in 24 668 cases for assault GBH, for a total of 31 064.

This is followed by a firearm (20 927 cases); a body part (for example feet, fist, hands, teeth) in 17 182 cases; a bottle (16 624 cases); a stick, plank, knobkerrie, pick and handle (15 566); and a baseball bat/cricket bat/wooden pole (15 566). In 240 instances, an electrical cable, cord, telephone cable, cellphone charger or laptop charger were used.

With the crime statistics, which will now be released on a quarterly basis, showing that murder, sexual offences and taxi-related murders were still on the rise, Police Minister Bheki Cele said: “Awareness campaigns on gender-based violence and femicide must be intensified; private sector and gender activists’ organisations must work together with government to defeat the scourge and expose perpetrators in this regard.“

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