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SA crime stats: Murder up by 5%

Murder, attempted murder and contact crimes have increased while rape and sexual offences have dropped.

National Police Commissioner Riah Phiyega. Picture: EWN

PRETORIA - Police Minister Nkosinathi Nhleko says murder and violent crimes had increased since last year.

"Murder, attempted murder and robbery are all up in this year under review. The five year trend shows a decrease in crime, the year in review shows an increase in violent crime."

The minister together with National Police Commissioner Riah Phiyega are releasing the statistics at the police training college in Pretoria.

Nhleko said the five year trend showed persistent problems of contact crimes and an increase in social unrest

He said that commercial crimes, stock theft and sexual offences showed a downward trend.

"I attribute the decrease in sexual crimes to heightened consciousness on this issue. But the prevalence of alcohol and drug abuse remains a concern, there are more taverns than school in some areas."

Nhleko said the South African Police Service had about 193,000 police officers employed, which calculates to one officer for every 346 citizens.

The figures are derived from cases reported and dealt with, and have been audited by the Auditor-General.

THE NUMBERS

Phiyega dealt with the actual numbers from the latest audit.

"Contact crimes are up by .5 percent. We are concerned by this. These crimes are mostly taking place behind closed doors between people who know each other."

She said property-related crime increased the previous year, but this year it had decreased.

On priority crimes, the commissioner said of the 17 priority crimes, six have increased while 11 have decreased.

"Murder is up by 5 percent and attempted murder has also increased by 4.6 percent."

She said that Gauteng, Northern, Eastern and Western Cape have showed an increase in murder cases.

"Aggravated robbery is up by 5.7 percent and common robbery increased by 0.6 percent."

She said bank robberies went up by by 300% (7 to 21 bank robberies reported).

Assault with intent to cause Grievous Bodily Harm (GBH) is down by 1.5 percent.

But, sexual offences went down by 5.6 percent while rape had also dropped by 6.3 percent.

Trio crimes, which include home and business robberies and truck/car hijackings went up by more than 10 percent nationally and 17 percent in Gauteng.

Phiyega then moved on to crimes detected as a result of police action. [Note - This figure going up is a positive trend as more crimes are detected]

"Illegal possession of drugs up by 26 percent. There is a decrease in the detection of people driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs."

She said more than 11,000 peaceful protests were detected, but 1,907 violent protests, which is quite an increase.

2012/13 NUMBERS:

Murder - 16,259

Sexual offences - 66,387

Robbery with aggravating circumstances - 105,888

'NO SOLUTION TO CONTACT CRIMES'

Earlier this week, the Institute for Security Studies (ISS) said while the trend of contact crimes was continuing to increase, the police didn't appear to have no clear strategy to solve the problem.

Contact crimes, in which criminals use violence against their victims, are among the most concerning for South Africans and it's this figure that increased last year and again this year.

Murder, attempted murder, robbery and hijacking all went up and the ISS said Phiyega's response to this trend was inadequate.