Quarterly statistics on police crime reveal

The first three months of 2022 have been violent, brutal and dangerous for most South Africans, quarterly police crime statistics have revealed.

Publishing the statistics on Friday, Police Minister Bheki Cele said the fourth quarter (Q4) of the 2021/22 financial year had seen an increase in murders, sexual violence and assaults, compared to the same period of the previous year.

“Overall, these statistics don’t give us a good picture,” the minister said.

According to statistics, the country recorded a 22.2% increase in murders.

Between January 1 and March 31, reported murders rose from 4,976 to 6,083, an increase of 1,107.

Sexual offenses increased by 1,676, from 12,123 cases to 13,799 cases, an increase of 13.7%.

Attempted murders recorded an increase of 1,135, from 4,582 to 5,717, an increase of 24.8%.

With an increase of 6,575, Aggression GBHs increased from 36,417 to 42,992.

During this period, contact crimes increased by 20,593, from 137,314 to 157,907, an increase of 15%.

The Minister attributed arguments, vigilantism, revenge or retaliation and theft as the four main causal factors for the deaths.

“A total of 2,268 people were murdered in public places such as open fields, streets, parking lots and abandoned buildings.

“The second most likely location to instigate a murder is the home of the victim or perpetrator. 1,350 people have been killed in this environment,” he said.

Alcohol outlets and public transport such as buses, taxis or trains were the third and fourth most likely places to be killed in South Africa.

Sexual offenses

A breakdown of sexual offenses indicates that rape saw reported cases increase by 1,300. The category saw a 7% increase from 9,582 cases to 10,818 cases.

Attempted sexual offenses during this period increased by 114, from 423 incidents to 547, an increase of 26.3%.

On a positive note, contact sexual offenses decreased by three, from 272 to 269.

However, in total, the total number of sexual offenses increased by 13.7%.

Nearly half of the cases, a staggering 4,653 rapes, took place in the rape victim’s home or the rapist’s home, Cele said. Public parks, beaches, streets, open fields, parking lots and abandoned buildings were the second most likely places to experience rape.

Alcohol was involved in 1,290 of the rapes. Lusikisiki Police Station in the Eastern Cape, Inanda Police Station in KwaZulu-Natal and Delft Police Station in the Western Cape recorded the highest incidents of rape for this quarter.

Flight

The fourth quarter of 2021/22 saw carjackings increase by 889, from 4,513 to 5,402. Robberies at residential and non-residential residences decreased by 0.4% and 3.5% respectively.

Cases of funds in transit increased by 26.2%, from 42 cases to 53.

Cape Town Central, Honeydew and Durban Central police stations topped the top 30 for 17 serious community crimes. Of the 30, 27 are in KwaZulu-Natal, Gauteng and the Western Cape. The Eastern Cape, Free State and North West each have a station represented in this category.

Bank robberies increased by four counts, from one case in 2021 to five counts.

General Thulare Sekhukhune, speaking at Friday’s briefing, said: “The chances of someone being killed are 10 in 100,000, [with] rape is 17.9 per 100,000. Then attempted murder is 9.4 [per] 100,000; GBH aggression is 71.0 per 100,000; common assault is 75.5 per 100,000; robbery 17.8 per 100,000,” he said.

Cele said the triple challenge of poverty, inequality and unemployment increasingly encourage opportunistic criminal behavior.

Despite this, he said the police had made gains and intercepted greedy criminal syndicates involved in extortion, kidnapping, theft of cash in transit and drug trafficking.

“Unfortunately, their collective actions did not yield the expected results.”

(With contributions from the South African government press release)

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