On 13 November 2020, the Crime Statistics were released reflecting crimes that occurred from 1 July to end of September 2020. These statistics will show the crime levels during the time when the country moved from Lockdown Level 3 to level 2 and 1 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Minister of Police, General Bheki Cele’s speaker notes for the quarter two crime statistics 2020/2021:
“Afternoon to you all.
On the 14th of August I stood here and spoke about a never seen before ‘rosy’ picture of a peaceful South Africa experiencing a “Crime Holiday”. That was the picture the crime statistics from 1st of April to end of June 2020 painted.
Ladies and Gentlemen, We know that the decreases were largely attributed to the fact that the country was at the time under Lockdown level 4 and level three. People stayed at home and there were more boots on the ground.
Basically the environment for crime to thrive was distorted. We also knew that this “rosy picture” would not last forever as the country opened up for business again. Today the crime figures for the second quarter reflect crimes that occurred from 1st of July to end of September 2020. These figures are demonstrative of a country that is enjoying fewer restrictions under the Disaster Management Act.
Between July and September 2020, 5 107 people were murdered in South Africa. This meant 339 less people were killed, compared to the same period last year. This is also the lowest figure for the past four 2nd quarters from 2017/18 to date.
From a sample of 4 290 murder dockets, analysis revealed that 1 992 of the murders occurred in public spaces such as beaches, parks, streets or open fields. Over 900 people were killed in their homes or the homes of those who ended their lives. Alarmingly, arguments and misunderstandings remain the main drivers of murder. Robberies, vigilantism and gang conflicts also feature high on the list of some of the causes of murder.
Members of the Media,
There has also been a drop in the number of sexual offences reported. This means a 16.8% dip in crimes such as rape and sexual assault was recorded. While there was an 18.8% decrease in the number of rape cases, July, August and September 2020 were dangerous months for thousands of women in this country, 8 922 cases of rape were reported at this time.
A sample of 5 168 rape dockets revealed that 3 578 persons were raped in their homes or at the home of their perpetrators. Majority of those who were raped were women. Over a thousand persons were raped in public places such as parks, beaches parking areas or open fields. The same analysis also revealed that more people were raped in Kwa-Zulu Natal than any other province.
Ladies and gentlemen, I remain critical and vocal about the negative effect alcohol has on our communities. This is despite my views being unpopular in some quarters of society. But these crime statistics that we are releasing today continue to vindicate our actions as the SAPS, to clamp down on illegal alcohol trading.
The figures show the consumption and abuse of alcohol is a causative factor in hundreds of murder cases recorded in the second quarter. Liquor was also involved in 829 assault GBH cases and 747 rape cases. 179 attempts of murder were alcohol induced.
Over a thousand incidences of murder, attempted murder, rape and assault took place at in or outside liquor outlets such as bars, taverns, shebeens and nightclubs. These figures make it impossible to deny the true effects of alcohol abuse.
As we approach the festive season,
Criminals are trying to make up for the time lost during the ‘crime holiday’ experienced in the first quarter of the financial year. This is demonstrated by the increase in the country’s most feared crimes, which are residential robberies.
While many citizens are still working from home due to the Nationwide Lockdown, incidents of home invasions have increased by 8.5 percent. On the other hand, cases of business robberies have declined by the same percentage.
It is encouraging to see that the third leg of the so-called TRIO CRIMES – which is carjackings, is also showing a decrease of 1.6 percent.
The scramble to ‘catch up’ by criminals is also reflecting in the increasing of Cash in Transit heist figures. It is clear armed gangs targeting cash vans, are becoming more desperate and ruthless as the year comes to a close. These criminals are stopping at nothing to carry out their criminal acts, often doing so in public spaces near innocent bystanders.
South Africa, I can assure you that the SAPS is not taking these brazen criminal acts lightly. I am pleased that there have been breakthroughs in taking down some of these criminal syndicates as well as recouping some of the stolen money.
In September, members of the Tactical Response Team and officers from the Ekurhuleni Metro Police department took down a gang of cash in transit robbers in Dawn Park, Ekurhuleni. I personally visited the crime scene in which FIVE of the criminals were shot and killed during a shootout at a safe house.
Unfortunately the owner of that house was an employee of the SAPS and he’s now facing the full might of the law for his role in the crime.
It is also encouraging that the Directorate for Priority Crime investigation – the Hawks – continue to make inroads by cornering and taking down these brazen gangs. Recently the Gauteng Team nabbed several alleged CIT robbers, including three CIT masterminds in Johannesburg.
A multi-disciplinary driven investigation by the team also resulted in the recovery of over 3.2 million rand of the stolen cash.
But the fact that this quarter recorded 24 cases more of the CIT’s than the comparable previous quarter period in this crime, it means more can and must be done to infiltrate these gangs and bring CIT robberies to its knees. The provincial and national integrated CIT teams have their work cut out for them.
This must include arresting some of their colleagues who are alleged to be involved or assisting these criminal gangs.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Stock theft is a serious problem that needs serious attention not just from us as the police but other departments that can assist in curbing this crime. Yesterday I met with farmers in the Free State who reached out to the SAPS and myself calling for intervention in the theft of their stock.
This crime is not unique to that part of the country. In the three months of reporting, there have been 7 339 cases of Stock theft countrywide. 26 322 sheep were stolen in the last three months. Over 14 thousand cattle were also stolen and found themselves in abattoirs and on to the plates of unsuspecting South Africans.
This crime has also recorded a decrease in all provinces except for the Northern Cape. If we are to rid the country of stock theft, we have to tackle the whole value chain from the top right down to which butchery this stolen meat ends up on.
This crime which I believe is a form of “Economic Sabotage’ needs to be tackled not just by the police but also have the buy in of other departments that can assist in the tracking, tracing, marking and movement of stock. We have set up a task team to look into stock theft in the Free State and are confident this will yield results.
As I conclude,
I want to take this opportunity to give credit to the men and women in blue who continue to serve the people of this country with honour and diligence.
Even throughout the pandemic, you have gone out there to fulfill your constitutional mandate as custodians of the law. We honour the 252 men and women in blue who have lost their lives to the COVID 19 pandemic. We also pass our condolences to all the officers who were killed on and off duty in the last three months.
Criminals are targeting some of our best members who have dedicated their lives to serving and protecting the country. I believe there is a war against OUR officers of the law and we must be ready for the fight. But this form of attack of the state should not deter us as the SAPS.
As the country goes into the festive season, I am again making a call to all members of the SAPS; all of you must continue to flush out criminality. Go out there and tighten the grip on crime, especially crime committed against women and children. I am also calling on communities to continue to work together with the police and ensure that people are and feel safe.”
Major General Thulare Sekhukhune gave a Presentation which will reflect an overview of the 2020/2021 Quarter two crime statistics. I Thank you.
All Contact Crimes decreased by 11.6%. Crime Category – Figures:
Murder – 6.2%
Sexual Offences – 16.8%
Attempted Murder + 1,8%
Assault to do grievous bodily harm – 12.4%
Common Assault – 5.5%
Common Robbery – 25.3%
Robbery with aggravating circumstances – 13.0%
All Sexual Offences decreased by 16.8%: Crime Category – Figures:
Rape – 18.8%
Sexual Assault – 10.5%
Attempted Sexual Offences – 9.4%
Contact Sexual Offences + 3.2%
Crime Category – Figures:
Carjacking – 1.6%
Robbery at Residential Premises + 8.5%
Robbery at Non-Residential Premises – 8.5%
Robbery of Cash-In-Transit + 60.0%
Bank Robbery – one case
Truck hijacking + 31.7%
Contact-Related Crimes decreased by 3.7%. Crime Categories – Figures:
Arson – 6.7%
Malicious damage to property – 3.6%
All Property-Related Crimes decreased 18.7% Crime Categories – Figures:
Burglary at non-residential premises – 6.0%
Burglary at residential premises – 21.3%
Theft of motor vehicle and motorcycle – 17.2%
Theft out or from motor vehicle – 25.3%
Stock Theft- 6.8%
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