‘Mixed bag’ crime stats still leave reason for concern – expert

‘Mixed bag’ crime stats still leave reason for concern – expert

Independent crime analyst Johan Burger says the latest crime statistics, revealed by the police ministry on Friday, present a mixed bag with positive developments such as the drop in sexual offences and assault cases, while murder and aggravated robbery remain a concern.   

Bheki Cele,. Cassel Mathale Fannie Masemola

In his announcement of the first quarter crime figures, Police Minister, Bheki Cele revealed all three categories of assault decreased, which includes assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm which saw over 7% less cases.  

“Contact crimes cases were 2 205 less compared to the same period last year. The reduction is inclusive of sexual offences, common robberies, common assault,” Cele said.   

Burger said while murder and aggravated robbery have been a concern for over a decade, there were some positive takeaways as the increases in those categories were less than in the same quarter last year.  

“In five out of the six categories we have seen an increase in the subcategories of aggravated robbery, so all of that remains a concern.” 

Burger said of grave concern were the statistics on crimes against women and children.   

From April to June 2022, 855 women and 243 children were killed in South Africa.  

He notes: “the crimes of murder, attempted murder and assault against women and children especially in this month that we celebrate our women; we’ve seen a 53% increase in the murder of women 18 years and older, 31% in attempted murder and more than 54% in serious assault. The same for children; 46 + % in the murder of children between zero to 17 years, 27.5% in attempted murder and 58% in serious assault against children. These are very serious statistics.”  


Burger said he was encouraged by the decrease in murder rates in the Western Cape, which was home to 10 of the top 30 murder stations in the country.  

“In six of those stations we have seen a decrease, and the end result is that the Western Cape has an almost zero increase in its murder rate which is very encouraging.”  

Cape Town Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis has attributed the decreases to the joint interventions by the Western Cape government and the City of Cape Town such as the deployment of Law Enforcement Advancement Plan (LEAP) officers.  

“The station level stats reveal something quite significant; in the top 30 murder stations of the country, every station bar one is a LEAP deployment area,” he said.    

Mpumalanga also recorded decreases in all contact crimes such as sexual offences, attempted murder, assault GBH, common assault, common robbery, and robbery with aggravating circumstances.   

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