Much awaited 2015/2016 Annual Crime Statistics expected today


All eyes will be on Minister of Police, Nkosinathi Nhleko, on Friday as he releases the highly anticipated annual crime statistics before Parliament’s Police Portfolio Committee.

The crime statistics provide details about the incidence of various crimes between 1 April, 2015 and the end of March 2016.

There has been calls from the Institute for Security Studies (ISS) for government to consider having regular crime stats will help develop more crime reduction strategies.

2014/2015 Crime stats

According to the 2014/2015 Crime Statistics released by the South African Police Service (SAPS) last year, violent contact crimes remain a feature in the country and increased by 0.9% nationally over the past year. The good news though is that the crimes are show a decreasing trend over the past 10 years. 

2013/2014 Crime stats

In 2014, the SAPS data showed that 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.

2012/2013 Eastern Cape crime stats

The 2012/2013 figures, which were released two years ago, painted a bleak picture about the levels of crime in the Eastern Cape and South Africa. The stats showed an increase in the serious crimes such as murder, burglary, aggravated robbery and hijackings.

Then Minister of Police, Nathi Mthethwa, said that the number of murders had increased by 0.6%. The Eastern Cape had the highest murder rate in South Africa, followed by the Western Cape, Free State, and the Northern Cape.

DA does not expect much improvement in crime situation

Meanwhile, the Democratic Alliance (DA) says it does not foresee an improvement when Nhleko releases the latest crime statistics.

It says annual police crime statistics will always be questioned until independent private firms audit them.

The DA Member of Parliament Zakhele Mbhele has told the media in the House that without fixing fundamental aspects of police management, the crime levels will remain on an upward trend.

“Nevertheless, the increases across categories of crime that we are likely to see tomorrow [Friday] are a consequence of the shoddy state of the police service at station level. Best characterised by the "four U's [under-resourced, under-trained, under-equipped and under-staffed] as well as historically poor and politically appointed leadership,” adds Mbhele.

Contacts crimes including murder and robbery went up in the 2014/2015 crime stats announcement. Incidents of murder increased by 4.6% between 2014 and 2015 while aggravated robbery increased by over 8%.

Statistics in 16 of the 26 crime categories released for 2014/15 had shown an increase.