Steel your hearts, South Africans. The 2017/18 Crime Stats have arrived, and they’re not painting a very friendly picture. The numbers are so disheartening that Minister of Police, Bheki Cele, has said that they bring South Africa close to a war zone.
20 336 people were murdered in the last year. 985 of those were children. 2 930 of them were women. There were 62 farm murders on record, with the majority of them (46) being white.
That’s just the tip of the ice berg, and the deeper we look the worse it gets.
The crime stats, released on 11 September, cover a twelve month period from 1 April 2017 to 31 March 2018.
The data points to an increase in all contact crimes, which includes murder, attempted murder, assault with grievous bodily harm, common assault, common robbery, robbery aggravating and sexual assault.
Murder continues its upward march and has now broken the 20 000 mark. According to the numbers, 56 murders occur each and every day.
Other crimes on the increase include bank robberies (up by 333.3%) and cash-in-transit heists (up by 56%).
There were thirteen bank robberies reported in this period, compared to only three in the year before. In 2017, we saw 152 CIT heists. This year we saw a massive 238 CIT incidents – some of them the most brazen South Africa has ever witnessed.
Driving under the influence is up by 14.8% and other drug-related crimes up by 10.5%. Stock theft is also up by 7.2%.
Certain crimes have decreased, thankfully. Residential robbery is down by 0.4% and hijacking is down by 2.3%. Theft of vehicles and common robbery are both down by 5%.
We’ve also seen slight decreases in arson and shoplifting.
Infamous for gang violence, Cape Town’s Nyanga remains the most dangerous place in South Africa, with the murder rate increasing by almost 10%. In the specific time period, over 300 murders were recorded in this area – more than anywhere else.
The crime stats also reveal which police stations reported the most cases in contact crimes. Although many crimes go unreported, we can use these numbers to ascertain the general level of inherent danger in that precinct’s surrounding area.
The stations which reported the most cases are as follows:
In terms of which province reported the most contact crime, in the top 30 police stations the Western Cape had ten stations, Gauteng nine, KwaZulu-Natal six and the Eastern Cape five. These top thirty police stations were burdened with 20% of the overall national murder rate.
The North West province saw 1121 cases in contact crimes, the lowest of all provinces.
During the 2016/17 period, South Africa recorded 19 016 cases of murder. This year, we broke the 20 000 barrier with 20 336. Of the 57 people killed every day, 46 are men, eight are women and two are children.
Of the children murdered in the last year, 691 were boys and 294 were girls, and most of them in the Western Cape.
In sexual offences such as rape, compelled rape, sexual assault, incest, bestiality, statutory rape and the sexual grooming of children, a staggering 50 108 cases were reported, with the majority of these being rape. This is up from 49 660 in 2016/17 and again, many cases go unreported.
There were also 22 261 cases of house robbery – in which the occupants were present during the robbery. On average, 61 households were robbed every day, and the South Africa’s 2016/17 Victims of Crime Survey revealed that only 56.7% of victims reported this crime to the police.
House burglary, on the other hand, where the occupants were not present, saw a massive 228,094 cases recorded – an average of 625 houses per day. The crime survey cited above revealed that 28.3% of house burglaries go unreported, as victims don’t have faith in the police. Most of the cases reported were only for insurance purposes.
Finally, 45 cars are hijacked every day, a total of 16 325 cases reported in 2017/18.