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Lockdown sees massive drop in crime figures

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Crime statistics revealed, from March 29-April 22 last year compared with March 27-April 20 this year, murder cases dropped from 1 542 to 432 showing a decrease of 1 110.

Cape Town – With just over a week left following the two-week national lockdown extension, law enforcement agencies have fared well in terms of enforcing the regulations, as the crime statistics confirmed a 72% decrease in murder cases reported when compared to last year’s.

Police Minister Bheki Cele said due to the lockdown, the heightened visibility, reinforced by the deployment of the SANDF and other variables such as the prohibition of the sale of liquor, “we have seen a significant drop across most crime categories”.

Crime statistics revealed, from March 29-April 22 last year compared with March 27-April 20 this year, murder cases dropped from 1 542 to 432 showing a decrease of 1 110. 

These statistics are from SAPS’ assessment of adherence to the Covid-19 lockdown regulations:

Rape cases dropped from 2 908 to 371, showing 87,2% decrease (2 537 decrease), 

Attempted murder decreased from 1 300 to 443, showing 65,9% decrease (857 decrease), 

Assault GBH decreasing from 11 876 to 1 758, showing 85,2% decrease (10 118 decrease), 

Robbery with aggravating circumstances decrease from 6 654 to 2 022, showing 69,6% decrease (4 632 decrease).

For trio crimes:

Carjacking dropped from 1 146 to 219, showing 80,9% decrease (927 decrease), 

Robbery at non-residential premises decreased from 1 345 to 464, showing 65,5% (881 decrease), 

Robbery at residential premises decreased from 1 437 to 664, showing 53,8% decrease (773 decrease).

Cele said they have also conducted a similar comparison for domestic violence, “and we have noted a remarkable decrease for domestic-related crimes.”

He said those included but not exclusive to murder, attempted murder, rape and sexual assault.

“The national picture reflects a decrease by 69,4% from 9 990 cases between March 29 and April 22 last year to 3 061 since the lockdown until April 20, meaning a difference of 6 929.”

Cele said they will at an appropriate time after the lockdown, give a comprehensive crime picture as we are yet to table the 2019/2020 crime statistics to Parliament.

“What has been most concerning is the fact that in most of these domestic violence incidents, the perpetrators are well known to the victims – spouses, partners, close relatives.”

He said in four of the incidents during the lockdown, the boyfriends were allegedly killed by their girlfriends and in two of those incidents, the murder was a result of an argument over liquor.

“In one incident the boyfriend refused to go out to buy liquor and in the other incident, the couple was under the influence of alcohol,” he said.

Cele said in relation to contraventions of the lockdown regulations, by the end of the initial 21 days they were on almost 107 000 cases opened and over 118 000 people charged.

According to Cele, those cases included liquor-related offences, illegal gatherings, Failure to confine to place of residence, cross border movement, business-related, transport-related, and misrepresentation of statement to deceive.

“From those arrested, 42 388 are before different courts across the country, while the rest have either been granted bail, issued with fines, or released with a warning to appear before court,” Cele said.

@SISONKE_MD

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