SA crime figures dip during lockdown

SA crime figures dip during lockdown

Eleven people have now died from COVID-19 related illnesses - but the country's murder rate still dwarfs the statistic. 

Bheki Cele on GBV during lockdown

On Sunday, Police Minister Bheki Cele released a preliminary crime report for the first week of the 21-day lockdown period. The statistics are compared to the same period last year.

Since the nationwide lockdown was activated, there's been a decrease in serious and violent crimes. 

Ninety-four people were killed in the first week of South Africa's 21-day lockdown - it's a decrease from the 326 murders reported in this time in 2019. 

The Police Ministry says the number of rapes dropped from 699 to 101. 

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Cases of assault decreased from 2 673 to 456, while trio crimes (car/truck hijacking, business robberies, and house robberies) dropped from 8 853 to 2 098.

However, incidents of gender-based violence remain high - with over 2 300 calls/complaints having been registered since the beginning of the lockdown commenced. One hundred forty-eight suspects have been charged. 

"Considering the improved rate of life sentences secured by the FCS Units in the past, one is optimistic that police will continue to work around the clock towards securing successful convictions and long term sentences of perpetrators of crimes against women and children."

"This should remain the practice even beyond the lockdown as GBV remains a scourge across the country," Cele said.

Cele said they expect cases to decrease further as the lockdown continues. 

"The decrease in the number of complaints which were high over the first days of the lockdown reflects stabilisation and confirms that people are now beginning to understand the lockdown and are complying with the regulations and that people are now cooperating with the members of the law enforcement entities," Cele said.

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