Crime statistics show drop in murder rate

South Africa’s murder rate dropped by 6.5% to 15,940 murders in 2010/11, Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa said on Thursday.

“It is perhaps worth mentioning that during the 1994/95 period our murder ratio as a country stood at 27,000,” he said in Pretoria on the release of the annual crime statistics. The figures were drawn from April 2010 to March 2011.

Attempted murder decreased by 12.2%. Although there was a decrease in sexual offences by 3%, Mthethwa said this was “an area that still required focused attention. We are mainly concerned about the number of rapes that occur in the country – the number of reported cases of rapes still remains unacceptably high,” he said. The number of reported rapes rose from 55,097 to 56,272.

During the period under review, 94 police officers were killed in the line of duty. This was down from the previous year’s figure of 110 police killed.

Assault with intent to inflict grievous bodily harm dropped by 4.5%, while robbery with aggravating circumstances was down by 12%.

Two years ago, house robberies had increased dramatically and last year, it showed signs of stabilising, Mthethwa said. This crime declined by 10% to 16,889 cases during the 2010/11 financial year, the first decrease since 2004,

“Our engagement with the insurance industry reflects that they too have started to witness the impact of this decline,” the minister said. “According to the SA Insurance Crime Bureau, different insurance companies are experiencing a decline in the range of between 4 and 31%.”

Cabinet has commended Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa and SAPS commissioner General Bheki Cele for a downward trend crime statistics. “However, Cabinet expressed its concern on the violent nature of the criminal activities across the various crime categories,” government spokesman Jimmy Manyi told reporters in Cape Town on Thursday.

Cabinet expressed appreciation to various community groupings, including Lead SA, that had been helping the police in their efforts to fight crime, Manyi said.

SA – the Good News via SAPA