“The stabilising of the crime levels, albeit at a high level, seems to have reversed violent crimes such as murder, attempted murder, aggravated robberies show increases,” said spokesman Jacques Sibomana.
“Why has this happened this year? Why has the downward trend not continued? Is this the start of a change in trend to more violent trends?” he asked. Sibomana said this was not an indication of crime being under control.
“So, all in all, not a good story. It leaves us with more questions and huge concerns instead of satisfaction or relief that our SA Police Service system is working, and a belief in a safer country.”
The Inkatha Freedom Party said it was probably time for the government to rethink its strategy and refocus on important problems. “Perhaps… spend less on corruption and poor service delivery, and more on fighting social evils and crimes that have a dire impact on the daily lives of ordinary citizens,” said IFP spokesman Velaphi Ndlovu.
“We welcome the decrease of crimes of abuse against women and children, but… we must also think of a long-term strategy to improve the general environment in order to make our women feel psychologically secure.” The Congress of the People said it was worried about sexual offences and violent crimes in South Africa.
Spokesman Leonard Ramatlakane said the crime statistics, released by Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa, showed a grim picture of people who feared for their lives in their own homes. “Victims of such [sexual] crimes, mostly women, are not confident that the police will handle their cases in a sensitive manner,” he said.
Some women withdrew their cases because of this. “This may urgently need the Police Act to be reviewed… to empower the police… to prosecute perpetrators of this crime irrespective of whether the complainant has withdrawn the case or not.”
Business Against Crime SA said the crime rate continued to be “unsatisfactorily high”. “While significant efforts are being made by government… the dynamics surrounding the rate and type of crimes… are dependent on many factors,” CEO Simi Pillay-Van Graan said in a statement.
“We strongly believe an integrated approach involving most government departments, generous participation from business and communities is the only way to change the situation.” Once more people participated, crime control would be more effective, said Pillay Van Graan.
Gun Free SA said it was not surprised by the increase in violent crime. “Over the last two years the organisation has raised concern about the integrity of the firearms control management system, in particular the issuing of firearm licences,” spokeswoman Adele Kirsten said in a statement.
She said global and local evidence suggested that strengthening national firearms control regimes could reduce the incidence of crime.