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South Africa – Contact Crimes Down In Most Provinces

Cape Town – The South African Police Service (SAPS) says contact crimes have gone down by 1.9% across the country between April and December 2016.

Aerial View of Sea Point, Cape Town South Africa

General Norman Sekhukhune, the SAPS Head of Crime Research and Stats, said this when briefing the Portfolio Committee on Police in the Old Assembly on Friday.“Contact crime decreased by 1.9%, contact related crimes decreased by 2.6%, property related crimes decreased by 0.2% and other serious crimes decreased by 2.4%,” he said. 

Contact crimes cover offences like murder, sexual offences, attempted murder, assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm, common assault, common robbery and robbery with aggravating circumstances.

These are crimes in which victims themselves are the targets of violence or the property is targeted and the victims in the vicinity during the commissioning of the crime are subjected to threats of violence or the use of such violence.

Giving a breakdown of the statistics, Sekhukhune said 461 343 contact crimes were reported between April and December last year, a drop when compared to the 470 342 cases reported in the same period in 2015 – which is 8 999 cases less.

When it comes to individual categories:

  • There were 10 less murders reported last year when compared to the 14 343 murders that were reported in 2015. This represents a 0.1% drop;
  • Sexual offences are down by 6.3% in 2016, when compared to the 40 143 cases that were reported in the same period in 2015;
  • Attempted murder is down by 0.8% – from 13 806 in 2015 to 13 698 in 2016;
  • Fewer cases of assault causing grievous bodily harm (-5.6%) were reported – from 137 200 in 2015 to 129 454 in 2016;
  • Some 117 811 common assault cases were reported last year, which represents a drop of 3.7%, and
  • There was a slight decrease (0.7%) in common robbery cases – from 41 247 cases in in 2015 to 40 972 in 2016.

However, robbery with aggravating circumstances was up by 6.1% – from 101 252 cases in 2015 to 107 445 cases last year. 

Trio crimes up

Sekhukhune said, meanwhile, that trio crimes — which are aggravated robberies like carjacking, robbery at residential premises and robbery at non-residential premises — went up by 8.2% – from 42 044 cases in 2015 to 45 512 cases in 2016.

Carjacking recorded the highest increase (14.9%), from 11 086 cases reported in 2015 to 12 743 cases in 2016 – pointing to a 1 657 increase in the number of cases.

Robbery at residential premises – which is the most feared robbery where robbers invade homes heavily armed in most cases – is up by 5.3%. Some 16 844 cases were reported in 2016 compared to 16 003 cases between April and December 2015.

Robberies in non-residential premises went up by 6.5% – from 14 955 robberies to 15 925 robberies. 

Contact crimes down in most provinces

Sekhukhune said contact crimes were down in most provinces.

There was a drop of 8.2% in Free State, 8.1% in Limpopo, 5.7% in Northern Cape, 2.3% in the Eastern Cape, 2.2% in KwaZulu-Natal, 0.6% in the North West, 0.5% in Gauteng and 0.3% in the Western Cape.

Mpumalanga recorded a spike in the number of contact crimes reported, up by 3% from 24 421 in 2015 to 25 152 in 2016.

Murder remained a concern in the Western Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, Gauteng and Mpumalanga – with the rate going up by between 0.7% and 6.8%.

Rape was down in all provinces, with the Northern Cape recording the biggest decrease (14.8%) – from 976 cases in 2015 to 832 in 2016.

Limpopo was the only province that recorded a decrease in residential robberies – dropping from 911 cases in 2015 to 842 cases in 2016.

[Source: South African Government News Agency– SAnews.gov.za – Media Relations]

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