Crime stats give a chilling account, as communities continue to live in fear

Apart from murder, other crimes against a person — including attempted murder, assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm, common robbery and rape — also showed an increase.

These crime statistics for the third quarter of 2020/21 — covering October to December 2020 — were presented to the Gauteng legislature’s portfolio committee on community safety by provincial police managers on Thursday.

Sexual offences increased by 6%, with 2,517 rape cases reported.

However, almost all property-related crimes — with the exception of stock theft —  showed a marked decline during the period under review.

While 12,812 burglaries at residential premises were recorded from October to December 2019, this decreased to 9,586 cases a year later. There were also decreases in burglary at nonresidential premises, and fewer motor vehicle thefts.

Only stock theft showed a slight increase — up from 308 cases in October to December 2019 to 314 cases in the later period.

However, police said the crime statistics from the 17 community-reported offences for October to December last year showed a decrease from 123,069 cases in October 2019 to 111,278 cases during the period under review.

Gauteng police commissioner Lt-Gen Elias Mawela said the province was able to reduce crime by 9.6%, significantly above the 7.5% target set for the 17 community-reported crimes.

Community-reported serious crimes include murder, attempted murder, assault GBH, common assault, sexual offences, arson, burglary and vehicle theft.

“This means that we were able to record 11,791 fewer cases than in the previous financial year,” he said.

Mawela said the 1,327 murders recorded during October-December last year meant a 7.5% increase from the 1,234 murders recorded during the same period in 2019.

Mawela said the top contributing factors included arguments; robberies at a household, businesses and streets; mob justice incidents; taxi violence and illicit mining.

He said liquor outlets also featured as the most likely places for people to be killed in the province.

Mawela said 527 of the sexual offences cases occurred at the home of either the victim or the perpetrator, while 178 occurred in a public place. He said 138 of these incidents were related to domestic violence.

He said during the quarter under review, police recorded 7,860 offences that were related to domestic violence. He said the top five offences were:

  • common assault (4,424 counts);
  • assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm (1,781);
  • malicious damage to property (1,126 counts);
  • rape (138); and
  • murder (24).

“I will urge all of us to work together with law-enforcement agencies so that we mobilise all the communities against the perpetrators of gender-based violence and, as the police, we will do our part when these crimes are reported, so that we act and we act decisively and we bring to book those who are responsible,” he said.

Mawela said though there was an overall decrease in the subcategory of aggravated robbery, there were increases in car and truck hijackings.

“Our analysis reveals that most carjackings occurred during the night, including the so-called blue-light hijackings where robbers are said to impersonate law-enforcement officers.”

Regarding cash-in-transit robberies, a total of 31 cases were registered in the quarter under review, up from 15 for the corresponding quarter.

“In 13 of these incidents suspects used explosives and bombed the vehicles to access the money.”

Image (Gauteng Provincial Police Commissioner Lt-Gen Elias Mawela believes crime has been reduced but communities disagrees -totally).

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