Crime stats released by SAPS paint nasty picture

By Doug Mattushek - 12 September 2019Views : 1392

The South African Police Service briefed the Portfolio Committee on Police on the 2018/2019 crime statistics on Thursday.

Police Minister Bheki Cele opened up proceedings, admitting "our statistics are not rosy," before handing over to Major General Norman Sekhukune to deliver the harrowing numbers.

Sekhukune revealed that from 1 April 2018 to 31 March 2019, there were a total of 21 022 murders, an increase of 3.4% on the previous period. Shockingly, 736 of the murders were committed by children.

"It also indicates that the level of violence in our society is on the increase," Gareth Newham, the head of governance crime and justice division at the Institute for Security Studies, told News24.

"Murder had gone down by 54% between 1994 and 2012, but it has been going up every year since then."

One of the most harrowing statistics is the 52 420 sexual offences reported, which is up by 4.6%.

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This is especially concerning given the low rate of reporting of sexual offences. Newham supported this notion.

"Sexual offences such as rape also have a very low report rate," he added.

However, it's not all bad news.

The reported indicated that murders against women have decreased 5.4%, while burglaries at residential premises have gone down 3.2% and car hi-jackings by 4.6%.

Following a police crackdown, one of the greatest successes has been the decrease in illegal possession of firearms and drug related crimes, which has decreased by 20%.