Crime statistics for first quarter of 2020 financial year could be misleading

FF Plus

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Crime statistics for first quarter of 2020 financial year could be misleading
Crime statistics for first quarter of 2020 financial year could be misleading

The FF Plus welcomes the fact that the crime statistics will from now on be released every quarter. The party had requested that it should be done this way for several years and the continued pressure has finally brought about the desired outcome.

Quarterly figures will facilitate the process of addressing the causes of crime which will, in turn, contribute to pro-actively combating crime.

The public must, however, be aware of the possibility that the latest crime statistics could be misleading if it is not considered within the context of the Level Five lockdown that restricted people’s movement significantly. Therefore, the figures could be misleading as they indicate a decrease in percentages.

For example, the murder rate decreased with 35,8%, sexual offences with 39,7% and attempted murder with 23,8%. Common robbery showed the biggest decrease with 49,8%.

These figures may look good, but common robbery occurs mainly on the streets and people were not allowed to move around. Given the stringent regulations of the lockdown, much fewer incidents of common robbery should have been reported.

It is difficult to compare these figures with those of previous years due to the great impact of the lockdown. The harsh reality is that 3 466 murders were committed during this time and that figure is unacceptably high.

The party, furthermore, welcomes the fact that the number of farm murders and attacks that took place are now also specified in the statistics. The FF Plus (Dr Pieter Groenewald) requested, with the previous announcement of the crime statistics, that the number of such incidents must from now on also be released.

During the period from April to June, nine murders were committed on farms. A cause for concern is that during the farm attacks, there were 14 incidents of serious assault, three of rape, 12 of attempted murder and 45 robberies at residential properties on farms.

These figures provide a more comprehensive picture of the true extent of crimes committed on farms. By previously only releasing a general murder rate, a misconception was created regarding the seriousness of these types of crimes. These statistics now make it possible for people to be pro-active to try and prevent such attacks.

Contact crime (between people) has also decreased with 37,4%. In this regard, the percentage on its own may look good as well, but it still represents 90 376 incidents, which is a very high number given the level of lockdown.

The FF Plus is still of the opinion that South Africa is an extraordinary violent and dangerous country and that the ANC government is failing to protect citizens against crime.

Read the original article in Afrikaans by Dr Pieter Groenewald on FF Plus

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