Crime stats: 10 things worth knowing

A confident police commissioner Riah Phiyega has commended the work done by police officers in the reduction of most crimes over the past nine years.

Phiyega and Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa released the country’s crime statistics in Pretoria this morning and both highlighted how, “cumulatively”, police were reducing crime despite the growth in the population of SA.

Read: Crime stats ‘worst in 10 years’ – ISS analyst

Here are ten things worth knowing about this year’s crime statistics:

» The highest number of serious crimes (6 649) were reported at Cape Town’s Nyanga police station over the past year, followed by Wierdabrug in Pretoria.

» Over 1.8 million serious crimes were reported by community members in the past financial year.

» Of the 806 298 serious-crime suspects arrests between April 2012 and April 2013, there were 352 513 convictions.

» South Africa has one of the highest police versus population ratio in the world with one police officer to 336 residents.

» 1.8 billion litres of liquor was confiscated in 92 000 illegal shebeens. Alcohol and drug abuse were identified as major contributors to high level of crime.

» 56 051 illegal firearms were destroyed in 2012/’13 compared with 119 810 the previous year. Exactly 20 145 illegal guns were confiscated in 2012/’13 compared with 25 615 in 2011/’12.

» 609 suspects were sentenced to 826 life sentences with family violence, child protection and sexual offences accounting for 499 of these.

» Attempted murder increased by 6.5% with domestic violence and “factional fights” in rural areas, labour unrest, the influx of foreigners and “economic refugees” and drug and alcohol abuse identified as among the major causes of this crime.

» Theft out of or from motor vehicles has increased by 3.6% because “it has become almost impossible to steal cars due to the escalated security measures that have been designed for newer models”.

» Most of the 12 399 public protests in the past year took place in the Western Cape and North West where criminal elements are using public gatherings and protests to pursue criminal acts, according to the police.

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