2013/2014 annual crime statistics for the eastern cape
The South African Police Service (SAPS) on Friday released the crime statistics for the 2013/14 financial year, which show a range of increases and decreases in certain crime categories in the Eastern Cape.
For the year under review, there was an increase in murder, total sexual offences, attempted murder and robbery with aggravating circumstances.
According to the SAPS data, murder in the Eastern Cape increased by 3.3% in the 2013/14 financial year which means about 3 453 people were murdered in the province last year up from 3 344 in the 2012/2013 financial year. This is the second highest number of murders in the country for that year.
Total sexual offences in the Eastern Cape increased by 3.4% from 9 567 the previous year to 9 897 in 2013/2014 while robbery with aggravating circumstances worsened by 14.3% - jumping from 11 794 cases in the 2012/2013 financial year to 13 485 in last year.
"We are very concerned about this trend," said National Police Commissioner Riyah Phiyega on Friday. She once again called on society to work very closely with police to reduce the scourge.
Attempted murder also went up by 5.1% while assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm went down by 1.5%. Common assault also went down by 6.2% while common robbery dropped by 12.6%.
The Eastern Cape recorded the highest number of rapes in the country.
"These are crimes where police arrive after the fact and which happen behind closed doors," Phiyega said, adding that police will continue to increase their visibility in communities.
Other serious crimes
Trio crimes in the Eastern Cape – trio crimes are crimes relating to personal safety and business, such as house robbery, business robbery and carjacking, worsened by 17.8%.
Carjackings increased by 11.5%, truck hijackings recorded a 106.7% increase, robbery at residential premises recorded a 11.5% increase, and robbery at non-residential premises increased by 25.6%. However, robberies of cash-in-transit vans in the province saw a drop of 50% when compared with the previous year.
Yet bank robberies in the Eastern Cape worsened by 400% or four more bank robberies in 2013/2014 compared to only one robbery in 2012/13.
Commercial crimes saw a 20.9% drop in the year under review while shoplifting increased by 1.4%.
SAPS hoped that the integrated partnerships with businesses and the banking sector will go a long way to address these crimes.
Other serious crime reduced by 1.4% during the reporting period.
Drug-related crimes increased by 17% in the past financial year, while driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs decreased by 3.4% in the past year. The illegal possession of firearms and ammunition, however, saw a 19.8% increase in the past year.
In the Eastern Cape, arson increased by 9.1% while burglaries at non-residential places increased by 1.6%. Still, burglaries at residential premises fell from 25 902 in the 2012/2013 financial year to 24 750 last year – a 4.4% drop.
Drivers will be relived to note that theft of motor vehicles and motorcycles dropped from 3 693 to 3 401 last year while theft out of or from a motor vehicle dropped from 12 039 to 11 841.
Stock theft also reportedly dropped from 71 63 in the 2012/2013 financial year to 6 477 in 2013/2014.
Speaking in Pretoria, Police Minister, Nathi Nhleko lamented the levels of violent crime.
"If you look at the five or 10-year trends, combined with the year under review, contact crime is a permanent feature," he said.
He said when levels of poverty and unemployment are so high, crime statistics are bound to rise. He also attributed this to the high social unrest as well as drug abuse in communities.
"The prevalence of drug and alcohol abuse in SA is very concerning. In most areas of our communities, we find more taverns than schools and churches combined," he said, adding that a broader solution needs to be found.
"There is a need to regenerate the morality in our society, which will help us in the fight against crime."
This “domino effect” was also highlighted by Phiyega, who said society can and must play a pivotal role in fighting crime.
A societal responsibility
Currently, South Africa has one police officer for every 346 South Africans.
"All of us need to make a contribution in reducing crime and fighting corruption in our communities," Minister Nhleko reiterated in his opening statement.
He said in line with the National Development Plan (NDP), the focus will be on strengthening the criminal justice system, professionalising the police as well as building safety.
The statistics for this reporting period, according to Minister Nhleko, are based on raw figures.
These figures are also audited by the Auditor General, working in conjunction with Stats SA.
This, Minister Nhleko said, was done to address concerns about the reliability of the statistics, which were raised last year.
Last year, the Institute for Security Studies said the crime statistics police released contained miscalculations and downplayed the rate of violent crimes.
Police have defended their calculations, saying they based them on new population estimates from the 2011 Census results.
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