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'Urgent approach needed to tackle crime'

The ISS says a second consecutive year of increases in serious violent crimes is concerning.

Gareth Newham.

JOHANNESBURG - The Institute for Security Studies (ISS) states that an urgent approach is needed to reduce violence and crime and highlighted focus areas for the reduction of crime and violence.

The organisation was responding to this morning's release by the South African Police Service of the crime statistics for 2013/2014.

National Police Commissioner Riah Phiyega announced that 17,068 people were murdered in the country last year, reflecting that at least 47 people were killed a day.

ISS governance, crime and justice division head Gareth Newham says the increase in serious violent crimes such as murder, attempted murder and aggravated robbery is deeply concerning.

"We must address serious challenges facing the police, involve other government departments, and look hard at the factors which cause violence. The ISS welcomes the call by the Minister of Police for a national dialogue on reducing crime and violence in South Africa," he added.

Newham says a second consecutive year of increases in serious violent crimes is of particular concern to all South Africans.

"Murder is up by 5% with an additional 809 murders. Robbery increases are particularly concerning. Home robbery is up 7,4%, with 1,334 more cases than the previous year. Business robbery is up by 13,7% with 2,238 more attacks, and car hijacking is up by 12,3% with 1,231 more attacks than occurred the previous year," said Newham.