By Andile Sicetsha for The South African
The nation is abuzz on Tuesday after the South African Police Service announced, on Twitter, that it would be publishing the country’s crime stats for the period of 2017/2018.
This year has already seen a marked increased in violent crimes like cash-in-transit heists and child murders and abductions.
Police Minister, Bheki Cele, addressed the media at the Imbizo Room in Parliament, Cape Town, and as much as there is quite enough to be worried about, the stats also saw a decrease in marked areas of concern.
Crimes that have increased
South Africa has seen a 1 320 increase in murders, from 19 016 in 2016/2017 to 20 336 in 2017/2018. An average of 57 people are killed a day in the country, 46 of which are men, eight women and two children. This shows an increase from the average of 52 murder deaths a day in 206/2017.
The murder rate is up by 6.9% in 2017/2018.
Attempted murder also saw a slight 0.2% increase from 18 205 in 2016/2017 to 18 205 in 2017/2018.
Cash-in-transit heists are up to 238 in 2017/2018, from 152 last year and 137 in 2015.
Western Cape still sits highest on the list of crimes reported at police stations. Nyanga remains the most notorious area in the country, infamous for its gang violence, while Gauteng has seen a marked increase in taxi violence.
The murders of women and children have also seen a notable increase, up by 146 reported cases.
291 more women have been murdered in this period, 291 more than last year, with 117 boys and 29 girls.
Crimes committed on farms have been released but there is no indication whether or not this shows an increase or a decrease.
62 farm murders have been reported for this year; 33 house robberies, six attempted murders, two reported rape cases, two cases of stock theft, two robberies with a firearm, one carjacking incident and one reported kidnapping.
Crimes that have decreased
Robbery with aggravating circumstances dropped by 1.8% to 138 364 this year from 140 956 in 2016/2017.
Common robbery also saw a notable decrease of 5% from 53 418 in 2016/2017 to 50 730 in 2017/2018.
Assault with intent to inflict grievous bodily harm went down by 1.9%, from 170 616 in 2016/2017 to 167 352 in 2017/2018.
Common assault cases also dropped by 0.1% in 2017/2018 to 156 243, from 156 450.
The most notable crime numbers
The most notable changes that we have seen so far are the marked increases in crimes related to cash-in-transit heists, murders, The Western Cape’s persisting problem with gang violence, the increase in crimes against women and children, and of course, farm murders.
It was revealed that CIT heists are up by 0.7% this year. Meaning that 76 more incidents have occurred this year alone. Cele has made this one of his primary concerns this year.
Although very recently, the SAPS appeared to be winning the battle against CIT syndicates, the numbers are not looking good.
Western Cape’s ongoing battle with gang violence
In the murder category, Nyanga police station came up on top of the list where most murder cases were reported in 2017/2018.
Compared to the period of April 2016 and March 2017, where 281 cases were reported, the period of 2017/2018 saw an increase of 9.6%.
27 more murder cases were reported at this station and most of them have been attributed to the growing problem of gang violence in the province.
Crimes against women and children
This stat will probably affect South Africans the most. As much as many organisations tried to bring this problem to the forefront with protests and ongoing discussions of violence against women and children in the public forum, the numbers were up by 146 reported cases in 2017/2018.
Much of the controversy that surrounds this stat is based on the reported number of farm killings that have been perpetuated by organisations like AfriForum.
According to the crime stats, 62 reported farm killings have occurred in 2017/2018.