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‘Crime stats will reflect upward trend in violent crime’

The SAIRR has warned it expects this result when the crime stats are released next week.

FILE. The police have announced that the crime stats will be released in Cape Town next Tuesday. Picture: Thomas Holder/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The South African Institute of Race Relations (SAIRR) has cautiously warned that it expects the crime statistics, set to be released soon, to reflect an upward trend in violent crime.

The institute has released, its study of crime trends since 1994, just days ahead of the police's annual crime stats announcement, next Tuesday.

The institute's Frans Cronje says they do expect armed robbery and murder to continue their upward climb.

He says since 1994 murder was on a steady decline, until last year.

"As the benchmark indicator of safety and security in this society, it means that the battle on crime in South Africa sets some serious hurdles and that we need a great degree of re-strategising."

Cronje says on a balance, the past 20 years has been a positive story.

"Most major crime types peaked in 2002 and 2003 and then started to fall away. There is one major exception in the trends though, and that's serious and violent robberies at homes and businesses."

Cronje says that for the most part, police have been winning the fight against crime for the past 15 years.

He says up until last year murder was also on a downward trend.

"The benchmark internationally of safety in South Africa is the murder rate, that rate has fallen by more than 50 percent over the last 20 years."

While being cautious, he expects the upward trend in violent crime to be confirmed with the release of the crime statistics next week.