Gauteng police say lockdown helped reduce crime by 9.6%
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Johannesburg - Police in Gauteng say the Covid-19 lockdown regulations had an impact on crime in the country after the province managed to reduce reported crimes by 9.6% during the 2021 festive season.
Gauteng Police Commissioner, Lieutenant-General Elias Mawela, presented the province’s 2020/21 third quarterly (October to December 2020) crime statistics to the Legislature’s Portfolio Committee on Community Safety on Thursday.
Mawela said it was important to keep in mind that Covid-19 lockdown regulations had an impact on crime.
Mawela revealed that during the period the province was able to reduce the 17 community reported crimes by 9.6% after the province recorded a 11791 case decrease.
“This reduction was evident in all five districts and it becomes noteworthy as we work alongside other law enforcement agencies and private sector partners in our efforts to balance crime prevention and the enforcement of Covid-19 lockdown regulations,” he said.
During the third quarter, the provincial police decreased contact crimes by 2.7% which translated to 1339 fewer than the same period in 2019.
Murder in the province increased by 7.5% from 1 234 in October to December 2019 to 1327 in the same period last year. Mawela added that 24 of these murders were as a result of domestic violence.
“In our analysis of the murder cases, we found that the top contributing factors include arguments; robberies at houses, businesses and in the street; mob justice incidents; taxi violence; and illicit mining. Furthermore, more victims were murdered in public places,” he said.
He added that some victims were killed at the homes of the perpetrator and liquor outlets.
During the period, attempted murder cases also increased by 3.8% with 1 323 cases reported, while assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm (GBH) cases (assault GBH) increased by 4.4% with 11762 cases reported.
Sexual offences in the province saw an increase by 6% after 3 276 cases were reported, while rape also increased 4.6% after 2517 rape cases were reported from October to December. Mawela said 527 of these cases were reported at the home of either the victim or perpetrator, while 178 cases occurred in public places and 138 were related to domestic violence.
“The public outcry against gender-based violence reflects the challenge we face in the province where domestic violence has contributed a great deal to the crime picture of the province,” he said.
During the third quarter, the provincial police recorded 7 860 cases related to domestic violence, with the top five offences being common assault (4 424), assault GBH (1 781), malicious damage to property (1126), rape (138) and murder (24).
Mawela said the police were experiencing challenges in regard to car and truck hijackings in the province which saw a 5.9% and 31.3% increase respectively.
He added that Operation O Kae Molao, that is conducted from Thursdays to Sunday every weekend, has inspired public confidence in the police’s striving to assure residents in Gauteng that the police can keep them and their properties secure.
Mawela sent condolences to the 82 Gauteng police members who died from Covid-19 since March last year. He said that 4 478 members tested had positive for coronavirus while six were currently in hospital.