Police Minister Bheki Cele and his department release the crime stats before Parliament. Photo: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency(ANA).

PARLIAMENT - The latest crime statistics released by the SA Police Service (SAPS) in Parliament on Thursday revealed a slight decrease in the number of women killed, and a spike in the number of children murdered.

The crime statistics are for the period April 1 last year to March 31 this year, and even though fewer women were killed over the year, it would bring little comfort to South Africans after a spate of brutal murders made headlines in recent weeks, sparking mass protests across South Africa. 

The number of women killed in 2018/19 stood at 2771 (down 2.9%), translating to seven women being murdered ever day. The number of reported sexual offences stood at 24,387 (down 3.8%). The number of women who were victims of attempted murder, assault with the intent to inflict grievous bodily harm and assault stood at 1,184 (down 11.8%),  7815 (down 3.3%), and 10,829 (down 3.7%), respectively.

Police Minister Bheki Cele told a media briefing that plans were underway to increase the number of family violence, child protection and sexual offences (FCS) units in the country and to bolster the number of officers, especially women detectives, to work in the units.

He added that it was currently one of the best performing units in the SAPS, securing 658 life sentences during the 2018/19 year for rape.

"It is through the highly specialised investigative work that 387 suspects were sentenced to 20 years and above," Cele said.

The number of children killed in South Africa increased to 1014 (up 2.9%), meaning about 3 children die every day as a result of murder.

Sexual offences against children accounted for 24,387 (up 3.8%) of the reported crimes against minors, while 1,184 children were the victims of attempted murder (up 11.8%). 

Police investigated 7,815 cases of assault with the intent to cause grievous bodily harm (up 3.3%) and 10,829 cases of common assault (up 3.7%) involving children.

African News Agency (ANA)