Cape Town - Police Minister Bheki Cele is releasing the annual crime statistics for South Africa to the Portfolio Committee on Police at Parliament in Cape Town. These figures indicate whether reported crimes have increased or decreased in the past year.
The murder rate, as well as the statistics for trio crimes (house robbery, business robbery and vehicle hijacking), will be of particular interest to most South Africans at a time when dozens of police officers have been killed in the line of duty and cash in transit heists are at an all-time high.
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Last year, there was a 1.8% overall decrease in the country's crime rate, but many people slammed the national government for excluding farm murders from the statistics.
Briefing the Parliament’s portfolio committee on police after the release of last year's statistics, then-police minister Fikile Mbalula said he was not pleased with the figure, citing that these revealed the “lazy efforts” of police officers.
“This increase is too small and indicative of the lazy efforts by the police to detect such crime, in order to make South Africa a safer place to live,” said Mbalula.
This year, Bheki Cele is back at the helm at SAPS and many observers are keen to see if his approach has made a difference in the crime rate.