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Crime stats: Small businesses vulnerable

Crime figures showed small businesses are a target because of low security.

Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa and Police Commissioner Riah Phiyega at the 2011/2012 crime statistics release. Picture: Rahima Essop/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - National crime figures for business robberies show small outfits are targeted mostly, while foreign-owned shops are particularly vulnerable.

The 2011/2012 crime stats were released by Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa on Thursday in parliament.

This type of crime increased nationwide by 7,5 percent during 2011/2012.

Police said small to medium businesses, including spaza shops, are mostly targeted.

While 12 percent of reported incidents occurred at supermarkets, 3,2 percent were recorded at retail stores.

Police said small stores don't have adequate security, making them easy targets.

However, while business robberies increased there seems to be some good news for the banking industry.

ATM bombings and bank robberies have decreased.

CEO of the South African Banking Risk Information Centre (Sabric) Kalyani Pillay said, "The banking sector has definitely put a number measures to try and assist and minimise these incidents."

Figures also show a decrease in both car hijackings and cash in transit heists.

Meanwhile, opposition parties have united in their concern about the high murder and crime rate in South Africa.

More than 15,000 people were murdered over the reported period.

At least two children are killed in South Africa on a daily basis.

The African Christian Democratic Party's (ACDP) Keeno Petersen said the statistics were worrying.

"It's a disgrace that 43 people are murdered ever day over the reported period."

The Freedom Front Plus' Pieter Groenewald said the long term statistics paint and even bleaker picture.

"In the past 10 years, 182,935 people were murdered in South Africa. This is the equivalent of the total number of residents in a town such a Klerksdorp in the North West."

He said the police failed to meet their own crime fighting objectives.

"The police did not meet their objective of reducing violent crimes by seven to 10 percent. The reduction was only between two and four percent."

Petersen said the South African Police Service (SAPS) has its work cut out.

"While we appreciate the decline in contact crime this year, we are still concerned about the unacceptably high levels of crime in our country."

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