Key crime numbers are up

FILE PICTURE: Suspended  national police commissioner Riah Phiyega. Picture: Christine Vermooten

FILE PICTURE: Suspended national police commissioner Riah Phiyega. Picture: Christine Vermooten

An apparent slip saw some of the national police crime statistics being released late last night on the South African Police Service website ahead of National Commissioner Riah Phiyega’s presentation today.

“As expected key crime categories including murder, armed robbery, car hijacking, truck hijacking, house robbery, and business robbery are all up,” said the Institute of Race Relations Frans Cronje.

“The long term trend of a decline in the murder rate – the benchmark measure of violent crime – is now well and truly broken. The only conclusion to draw is that the SAPS is losing the fight against serious and violent crime.”

Murder showed an increase of 4.6%, or a climb from 17023 people killed in the 2013/14 financial year to 17805 during 2014/15

Sexual offences are down from 56680 to 53617, or -5.4%.

Gauteng has seen the biggest increase in murder by 10%, with the Western Cape coming in second at 9.7%.

Senior researcher at the Institute for Security Studies Johan Burger believed the numbers were credible.

“We thought the police might have wanted to juggle the results a little but it seems they have resisted the temptation,” Burger said.

The one anomaly was the drop in assault by 8.5% which Burger felt indicated the reporting rate was going down, not the actual assault rate.

With President Jacob Zuma already keeping a close eye on Phiyega, the increase in serious crime will not have gone unnoticed.

The facts speaks speak for themselves, said Burger. “When Riah Phiyega became commissioner in 2012, you can immediately see – and I don’t want to blame her for all of this but this is what the facts tell us – all of these serious crimes regained their upward trend.”

Burger explained that in other words, business robbery started climbing faster again, house robberies changed its downward trend to an upward trend, for the third year in a row, as did car hijackings

“So overall, aggravated robbery before this years stats increased by about 18%, if you add this years increase it’s closer to 28%,” Burger noted.

“Which is a serious concern. And this all happened during her watch.”

Police did not respond to requests for comment.


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