LIVE FEED: Police Minister Bheki Cele presents quarterly crime stats
Cape Town – Police Minister Bheki Cele will present the quarterly crime statistics on Friday afternoon – for crimes that occurred from April 1 to the end of June this year.
Covering the time the country was under lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic, the trends are likely to differ markedly in certain instances from the corresponding period last year.
At the end of last month, the crime stats for 2019/20 were published ahead of the usual date in September to enable the SAPS to publish the stats on a quarterly basis in future.
This is to allow the government sufficient time to respond to crime trends more rapidly and contribute to the national development plan’s aim to build safer communities, Minister in the Presidency Jeff Radebe said in June.
WATCH FEED HERE
The comprehensive annual report would accommodate changes to quarterly statistics due to factors like cases being solved.
Andrew Faull, senior researcher: justice and violence prevention at the Institute for Security Studies, told the Cape Argus figures presented by the police in late April and May suggested that overall crime and violence plummeted in the first two months of the lockdown.
Faull said even where crime has increased since June under lockdown level 3, it would not necessarily have been reported to police at the usual reporting rates and was still likely to be lower than the same period last year.
The stats for the period between April 1 2019 and March 31 2020 revealed that murders remained high, with a 1.4% increase (303 more cases) in 2019/20 to 21 325 reported cases. This is an average of just more than 61 people killed every day.
On examining the factors that led to the crimes, the stats showed that 3 447 murders occurred in the heat of an argument and 1 482 were as a result of domestic violence.
According to the stats, murders in SA are most prevalent in public places, with 9 714 cases. A total of 1 430 murders were linked to alcohol or drugs.
A total of 1 294 cases of attempted murder were also linked to alcohol or drugs and 19 843 cases of assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.
Rape also saw a 1.7% increase compared with the year before, which equates to a total of 42 289 reported cases.
Incidents of sexual assault rose by 4.7%, increasing by 312 cases compared with the year before, bringing the total to 7 749.
In the 17 categories of community-reported crimes, cases of car-jacking have seen the biggest increase year-on-year, with 18 162 cases over the period. This equates to 50 cars being stolen in South Africa every day.
The biggest reduction in crimes were seen in bank robberies, cash-in-transit heists and instances of arson.