Police Minister Bheki Cele says it is a disgrace and deeply disturbing that almost 10 000 people were brutalised by crime in a space of three months. Cele was reacting to statistics that show an increase of 4.7% in sexual offences cases.

The police minister was presenting crime statistics for the second quarter period from the first of July to the 30 September.

Murder increased by 20.7% and assault by 2.1%. There was a decrease in aggravated robbery.

Cele says there were 2 000 kidnappings reported during the period under review. He says the increase in sexual offences cases is of serious concern.

Police Minister Bheki Cele presents the latest crime statistics:

Interventions put in place to fight crime

Major General Norman Sekhukhune says there are a number of factors that contribute to the overall picture of crimes statistics. One of these is the lockdowns that were a result of COVID-19.

Robbery at residential premises, or housebreaking, which have been described as a category of crime South Africans fear most, have decreased by just under 9%.

National Police Commissioner Khehla Sitole attributed this to certain inventions the police have adopted, including the Country in Blue Campaign.

“These crimes we prevent them by being everywhere. And complementary to the Country in Blue, we also have the community in blue. I think the number of the community in blue are day by day residents throughout the country. And they complement us everywhere. The security company partnership complements visibility.”

Western Cape sees a decrease in the rate of crime

The Western Cape has seen a decrease in crime in the second quarter of this year compared to the same period last year. This includes murder, rape, carjackings, and robbery at residential and non-residential premises.

The Nyanga Police Station, which was the station with the highest murder rate in the country in 2019 also reported a decrease in cases.

Cele says this is the result of the hard work that has been put in place.

“For some reason, Western Cape is green in all categories. I thought that people would pick that up and then find the reason why. We have argued and we are continuing to work. The resources that have been put there are beginning to yield good returns. So it’s not automatic. It’s because work has been done.”

More still needs to be done to fight crime

While these figures look promising, Police Minister Bheki Cele says more still needs to be done.

“While the picture is changing, but it will change best for us when your column one of your stats changes when the murder is still increasing that way when the sexual offenses are still increasing, you cannot give much comfort.”

The statistics show that crimes against women and children have gone up in this period. 64 more women were murdered while there were 82 attempted murder cases with another 398 being victims of assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm compared to 2020.

The number of children murdered increased by 69, attempted murder by 36 while 61 more children were victims of assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm. -Additional reporting by Joseph Mosia