The 2015/2016 crime statistics were a reflection on South Africa’s societal problems and not the police service, the Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (Popcru) said on Friday.
“Police are often put to the front and usually take the blame for the increase in criminal activities, while consideration is not fully made regarding the role we all need to collectively play with communities, business and government departments, among others, in taking necessary measures to prevent crime,” the union said.
The union said the country’s prison population was increasingly young people, which was a reflection of societal problems, such as unemployment, drug and substance abuse, identified as part of the cause of aggressive crimes such as armed robbery, house break-ins, theft and murder.
“Criminals stay within our communities, and we therefore appeal to communities and businesses to work closely with police in exposing such elements, and work jointly in confronting these social problems we face within our communities, as crime is usually a remnant of the very social challenges.”
Crime statistics released by the police ministry on Friday showed that the murder rate increased by 4.9%, with more than 50 people a day murdered in South Africa between April 1, 2015, and March 31 this year. Attempted murders was up by 3.4%, while assault with the intent to do grievous bodily hard was up slightly by 0.2%.
SA Police Service head of crime research and statistics Norman Sekhukhune said the Northern Cape was the only province that had a drop in murder rate.
The so-called trio crimes (house robberies, business robberies and carjackings) were up 0.2%. House robberies increased by 2.7%, with the Western Cape contributing significantly to this figure with a 19.3% rise in this crime in the province. Business robberies rose by 2.8% compared to the 2014/15 stats, while car hijackings increased by 14.3%, with only the Free State province having experienced a decrease of 4.4%.
– African News Agency (ANA)