“If you want to reduce violence, look at early childhood development… That is a sustainable way to reduce violence,” ISS governance, crime, and justice division head Gareth Newham told reporters in Pretoria.
He was speaking ahead of the release of the 2013/14 crime statistics on Friday.
“The nature of murder in South Africa is driven by socio-economic conditions,” he said.
Looking at the 2012/13 figures most violent crime categories in South Africa went up. Last year was the third time murder increased in 20 years, going up by 4.2 percent.
According to the statistics from that year, the Eastern Cape had the highest murder rate, followed by the Western Cape, Free State, and the Northern Cape. Limpopo had the lowest murder rate.
Rural areas were the more dangerous, Newham said.
In 80 percent of cases the victim knew the perpetrator.
Aggravated robbery had gone up as well, as had business, house, and car robberies.
“There was a remarkable increase in business robberies, about a 300 percent increase,” he said.
“These crimes are largely syndicated. You need to identify the syndicates. Good crime intelligence is fundamental.”
Despite a big decrease in assault, murder was increasing.
Newham said police were “certainly working harder”.
“We have a shortage of social workers. The police can’t deal with the factors that lead to violence… The police can’t fix policing on its own.”
He said the National Prosecuting Authority needed to finalise more cases.
Police Minister Nkosinathi Nhleko and national police commissioner Riah Phiyega are expected to release the 2013/14 crime statistics in Pretoria on Friday.