Police Minister Bheki Cele released the fourth quarter crime statistics yesterday, and they paint a grim picture.
According to Cele, there has been an increase in murders over the last three months of the year. Murder and attempted murder increased by 8.4% and 8.7% respectively.
A total of 4 976 people were killed in the first three months of 2021.This is 387 more people killed compared to the corresponding period in the previous year.
Cele said it is concerning that the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal recorded double-digit increases, standing at 21.5% and 16.9% respectively. A total of 1 327 people died in their homes or that of their perpetrator, family friends, or neighbours.
A total of 2 378 people were killed in public places like streets, open fields, recreational parks, beaches, and abandoned buildings.
According to Cele, the top four causative factors of these murders still remain arguments, robberies (residential, non-residential and street), mob justice, and gang-related incidents.
While there has been a decline in sexual offences cases, 9 518 people were raped between January and March.
This was an almost 4% decrease to 387 cases, compared to the previous reporting period.
The Eastern Cape’s Lusikisiki police station recorded the highest incidents of rape, overtaking the Inanda station,
Cele said gender-based violence (GBV) remains a priority crime. “When it comes to GBV, there is no room for complacency. Those ‘sleeping on the job’ – must get their act together or ship out.”
In the first three months of 2021, 11 people were killed in 10 incidents.
Four of those murdered were farm dwellers and four were farmers or farm owners.
Two of the victims were farm employees, while one was a night guard at a farm workshop.
While all cases of assault decreased by over 9%, there were still over 75 000 cases of common assault and assault with intention to cause grievous bodily harm (GBH) opened with the police between January and March this year.
In 2 855 incidents of GBH, it was confirmed that alcohol was consumed either by the victim or the perpetrator or both.
2 047 incidents of GBH assaults took place at either a bar, a night club, a tavern, or a shebeen.
Gauteng and Western Cape recorded the highest number of assault cases.
In 16 528 incidents of assaults, both common and GBH, the victim and perpetrator knew each other.
Cele called for an urgent intervention to deal with alcohol-related cases.
“Alcohol abuse is the ‘albatross around one’s neck’ for us in the police service and certainly for the communities we serve. Some communities have more taverns as compared to any other establishment in their area of residence, including churches and schools combined.”
Trio crimes CIT and truckjackings
Aggravated robberies such as carjacking increased by almost 5%.Carjacking took place mostly in formal and non-formal residences in the country’s townships followed by suburbs in urban areas.
There were 372 more residential robberies reported in the current reporting period compared to the corresponding period in the previous year.2.8% more robberies at non-residential places such as businesses, churches, and schools took place during this reporting period.
354 trucks or courier vans were targeted.
In the first three months of this year, Cash-in-Transit heists decreased by 10.6%.
Cele said he did not mince his words when he called on police to urgently get their act together in addressing the high incidents of cash-in-transit heists.
“Police must step up their efforts in clamping down on truck high-jackings which recorded a double-digit percent increase.”