Crime stats mixed bag

SOUTH AFRICA - Cape Town - 12 September 2019 - Minister of Police Bheki Cele and his department released crime stats before parliament today,Western Cape is still on the rise when it comes to crime whith Nyanga Police station still being number 1 on the list .Photograph :Phando Jikelo/African News Agency(ANA)

Murders have shot up in Kirstenhof, from one to seven cases, and sexual offences in Wynberg have more than doubled.

This is according to the latest national crime statistics. Released by Police Minister Bheki Cele last Thursday, they are a record of reported crimes over the past fiscal year.

They show the country had 21 022 murders from the beginning of April in 2018 to the end of March in 2019 – 686 more than the previous year – an increase of 3.4%.

In the Western Cape, murders increased by 6.6% from 3 729 cases last year to 3 974 this year, with the top cause being gang-related

Apart from the spike in its
murder rate, Kirstenhof saw increases in several other contact crimes, with sexual offences rising 33%, from 27 to 36 cases, attempted murder from four to six cases, common assault from 97 to 121 and common robbery from 42 to 45.

Robbery with aggravating circumstances – a category that includes carjackings and home and business robberies – fell 20% from 94 to 75 cases.

The property-related-crime category – including home and business burglaries as well as car theft and theft from cars – fell by 26%, from 681 to 506 cases.

Home burglaries fell from 309 to 227 cases and business burglaries halved, from 101 to 47 cases.

In Wynberg, the sexual-offences category jumped 104%, climbing from 21 to 43 cases. The category includes rape, which shot up 178%, from nine to 25 cases, and sexual assault, which climbed from six to 13 cases.

This was well above both the national and provincial trends for this crime. Sexual offences across South Africa for 2018/2019 went up 4.6% to 52 420 cases, but in the
Western Cape they showed a slight drop of 0.5%, from 7 075 to 7 043

Robbery with aggravating circumstances in Wynberg increased by 30%, from 226 to 293 cases. In that category, carjackings were up from 12 to 18 cases, home robberies went from 18 to 23 cases and businesses robberies from 14 to 24.

Other contact crimes fell or steadied, with murders down from five to four cases and attempted murders staying at seven.

In property-related crimes, thefts out of vehicles stood out, with a 27% increase, from 633 to 805
cases. Burglaries at homes fell 396 to 291 cases and business burglaries from 156 to 136 cases.

In Diep River, murders fell
from four cases to one, but other contact crimes were up: sexual offences from 16 to 21 cases, attempted murder from four to nine cases, aggravated assault from 20 to 33, common assault from 120 to 148, common robbery from 77 to 81 and robbery with aggravating circumstances from 138 to 140.

In the property-related-crime category, business burglaries were up 29%, from 72 to 93 cases. Home burglaries fell marginally from 349 to 346 cases. Vehicle theft was down 23%, from 128 to 99 cases, and theft from vehicles fell from 403 cases to 376.

Community Safety MEC Albert Fritz said it was concerning that the province had 18.9% of the country’s murders but only 11.6% of the population.

The province could no longer wait on the police to take action, he said.

“SAPS needs to adopt evidence-based policing, which would lead to deployment at key times in key hot spot locations. We need our police to be in
these hot spots before crimes are committed, not after. My department will conduct an in-depth analysis of these crime stats, in order to shed more light on specific trends, crime categories and a suite of proposed responses.”

Premier Alan Winde said: “We
continue our call for policing to become a provincial mandate as these statistics have shown that the nationally
managed, SAPS have lost the war on crime.