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Crimes in the Province reported to be down in the period from April 2017 to March 2018 include

Police Minister Bheki Cele (left) and national police commissioner Khehla Sitole at a media briefing following the release of the 2017/18 crime statistics. Picture: Chantall Presence/African News Agency(ANA)

WHILE the rest of South Africa borders on a “war zone”, most categories of crime in the Northern Cape – including murder, attempted murder and rape – are down from last year.

This is according to the 2017/18 crime statistics presented yesterday by the Ministry of Police to the Portfolio Committee on Police in Parliament.

Crimes in the Province reported to be down in the period from April 2017 to March 2018 include:

Murder – from 344 cases reported in 2016/17 to 340 cases (-1.2%)

* Sexual offences –

from 1 587 to 1 538 (-3.1%)

* Attempted murder –

from 550 to 480 (-12.7%)

* Assault with intent to inflict

grievous bodily harm –

8 889 to 8 173 (-5.5%)

* Common assault –

4 440 to 4 375 (-1.5%)

* Common robbery –

1 506 to 1 285 (-14.7%)

* Rape – 1 143 to 1 100 (-3.8%)

* Attempted sexual offences –

154 to 130 (-15.6%)

* Robbery at non-residential

premises – 304 to 299 (-1.6%)

* Malicious damage to property

– 2 954 to 2 927 (-0.9%)

* Burglary at non-residential

premises –

2 403 to 2 172 (-9.6%)

* Burglary at residential

premises –

6 518 to 6 228 (-4.4%)

* Theft out of or from motor

vehicles –

2 911 to 2 609 (-10.4%)

* Commercial crime –

1 108 to 1097 (-1%)

* Shoplifting –

1 407 to 1 309 (-7%)

There were, however, categories where the crime statistics increased over the past year in the Northern Cape. These include:

* Robbery with aggravating

circumstances –

1 505 to 1 639 (8.9%)

* Sexual assault –

235 to 245 (4.3%)

* Contact sexual offences –

55 to 63 (14.5%)

* Carjacking – 29 to 37 (27.6%)

* Robbery at residential

premises – 142 to 159 (12%)

* Robbery of cash in transit –

0 to 1 (one case higher)

* Bank robbery – 0

* Truck hijacking – 0 to 3

(three cases higher)

* Arson – 149 to 156 (4.7%)

* Theft of motor vehicles and

motorcycles – 219 to 233 (6.4%)

* Stock theft –

1 356 to 1 558 (14.9%)

Crimes that saw Northern Cape police stations listed in the Top 30 list of shame in the country included community reported serious crimes, where Kimberley was listed as number 30.

A total of 6 378 community reported serious crimes were reported in Kimberley, although this was down by 9.2% in comparison with the previous year when 7 025 serious crimes were reported.

Kimberley was also listed as 15th in the country for common robbery, with 363 cases reported in the city (down from 526 in the previous year).

Galeshewe was listed as one of the Top 30 police stations for assault GBH. A total of 645 (down from 683) incidents of assault GBH were reported at the police station.

Four police stations in the Northern Cape were among the Top 30 for attempted sexual offences, Mothibistad was listed as number 8 with 13 incidents reported, Galeshewe number 10 with 12 incidents, Kagisho as number 22 with 10 incidents and Kimberley 23, also with 10 incidents.

Sexual offences

Kimberley and Galeshewe also reported among the country’s most sexual offences cases, both with eight cases.

The Kimberley police station was also listed as number 28 for theft out of or from motor vehicles and motorcycles, with a total of 870 incidents reported at the local police station. This was, however, 15.9% lower than the previous year when 1 035 cases were reported.

Of the 344 murders reported in the Province, meanwhile, a total of 57 were women while 19 were children (five girls and 14 boys). This was 22.4% of the total number of murders reported.

One multiple murder, with two victims, was also reported in the Northern Cape.

While the Province did not have any gang-related murders, any taxi-related murders, any murders from illicit mining, any murders of police officials or any incidents of mob justice, there were three farm murders during the period under review.

Knives meanwhile were the preferred weapon of choice when it came to attempted murder, with 63 incidents reported where firearms were used and 177 were knives were the weapon of choice.

Also of interest in the statistics released was the massive increase in the number of unrest cases. This jumped from 84 in the 2016/17 year to 129 in the 2017/18 year, an increase of 56.9%. This was the largest percentage increase in the country.

The number of peaceful protests meanwhile came down slightly from 501 to 499 incidents reported.

Crime detected as a result of police action also increased from 6 084 incidents to 6 494, an increase of 6.8%. However, sexual offences detected as a result of police action dropped by 65.3% from 49 cases to 17.

Drug-related crime in the Northern Cape has meanwhile jumped by 8.3% in the last year from a total of 5 136 incidents to 5 563.

Driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs increased by 1.9% from 797 incidents to 812.

According to Police Minister Bheki Cele, 57 people are murdered in South Africa every day.

“The crime stats of this financial year – 2017/18 – are nothing to write home about, absolutely nothing to write home about. I think our emphasis should be on what is to be done rather than the crime stats, which don’t give any joy,” Cele said.

“The example I have all the time when I talk about these stats, it doesn’t matter what figures you give. But if you cannot deal with or control murder cases, you are not bringing any joy to the South African people.

“It doesn’t matter what else you reduce, but if people die and it looks like 57 per day. That’s how many South Africans are murdered, 57 a day. It borders close to a war zone.”

A total of 20 336 murders were reported during the period under review, which represents a 6.9% increase overall when compared to the previous year.

“I immediately say the South African Police Service dropped the ball for such figures to happen. I want to put it here that answer we must give is what is to be done because I have said to the members of the SAPS that never again we come here again to give such statistics or worse than this. It can’t be that South Africans are put under such stress and such fear,” Cele said.

He said that while police need to do more to bring the murder rate down, it cannot be left to the police alone to arrest the situation.

Police Committee Chair Francois Beukman has also stated that the 6.9% increase in the murder rate is “alarming and unacceptable”.