77 fewer cases reported in the last quarter compared to the previous quarter.
THE NORTHERN Cape Province experienced a significant drop in sexual offences cases with 77 fewer cases reported in the last quarter compared to the previous quarter.
The Province’s crime statistics were released yesterday by Premier Dr Zamani Saul, the MEC of Safety and Liaison, Nomandla Bloem, and the Acting Police Commissioner, Major General Henriette de Waal.
Breaking down sexual offences, rape incidents decreased by 59 cases, attempted sexual offences dropped with 15 cases while contact sexual offences decreased by 10.
In total sexual offences decreased by 18.5% although incidents of sexual assault increased by seven cases.
De Waal highlighted that sexual offences are usually at the top of the list of reported offences in the Northern Cape.
She indicated that the Covid-19 lockdown has had an impact on the provincial crime statistics.
The Province experienced an increase of 39 cases in commercial crimes during the lockdown period. This represents an overall increase of 14%.
“The Province has, however, experienced a decrease in several crime categories, including contact crime, assault and property related crime,” De Waal said.
Murder and attempted murder cases are more or less the same compared to the previous quarter with two less murder cases and one additional attempted murder case registered with the police.
In further good news, assault with the intent to inflict grievous bodily harm decreased by 219 cases while common assault saw a 41% drop. Contact crime decreased by 430 cases.
Here is a breakdown of some of the other statistics:
* Common Robbery – decreased by 46 cases;
* Robbery with aggravating circumstances – decreased by 46 cases;
* Aggravated robbery, including car hijackings and robberies at residential areas, also showed a decrease in numbers.
* Robbery at non residential premises – increased by 13 cases;
* Arson cases – nine less cases;
* Malicious damage to property – increased with 11 cases. (De Waal indicated that the increase was due to protest actions during this quarter.)
* Property related crimes – including burglaries, stock theft and theft out of motor vehicles decreased by 659 cases
Most of the bigger police stations in the Province experience an increase in the number of serious reported crimes although the Kimberley Police Station experienced a decrease of 548 cases.
The Kuruman Police station experienced 19 more cases while Postmasburg saw an increase of four cases.
Kakamas Station registered 42 more cases. The increase was blamed on seasonal workers flocking to that area at a certain time of the year.
Bloem applauded the police and indicated that none of the decreases in many of the crime categories would have been possible without the dedication, determination and hard work of the men and women in blue.
“We have so many factors that influence our crime landscape, including societal, economic, demographic and geographical.
“We will remain steadfast in our condemnation of sexual violence against our women and children.
“What, for me, is concerning is where rape incidents occurs in our Province. The overwhelming majority of cases occur at the place of either the perpetrator or the victim. This is probably the saddest, most baffling thing, because we are being violated in familiar spaces.
“This is followed by public places, meaning that we need to do more to ensure that we have improved visibility in our streets, recreational spaces and especially abandoned places and fields,” Bloem said.
“We are such an angry nation. Most of our murders, attempted murders and assaults happen because of arguments and fights.
“Our homes have become battlefields where mothers and daughters are at the receiving end of male anger and aggression . . . in the place where they are supposed to be protected and cherished most.
“We need to find and teach our men and boys healthier ways to express their emotions and remove, entirely, their need to dictate over their spaces with harsh words, clenched fists, weapons and their bodies.
“Violence and sexual violence in the home is such an evil thing . . . we must never allow this situation to become the norm.
“For me, the presentation of these statistics must not be an end in itself. We need to, together with our understanding of societal issues and root causes of crime, investigate why some stations, for example, keep on reporting more rapes or murders than others,” Bloem concluded.