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#CrimeStats: Another worrying set of figures

For a third year, there's been an increase murder figures, with other violent crimes also on the rise.

SA police commissioner Riah Phiyega addresses the press in Cape Town regarding the latest 2014/2015 crime statistics. Picture: Anthony Molyneaux/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - For a third consecutive year there's been an increase in the number of murders in the country with other violent crimes including house robbery, also on the rise, and concerns around whether police are equipped to protect South Africans.

Police Minister Nkosinathi Nhleko and National Commissioner Riah Phiyega released the annual crime statistics in Parliament today for the 2014/2015 financial year.

The figures show 17,805 people were murdered, a 4.6 percent increase on the previous financial year.

Other contact crimes, including attempted murder, aggravated robbery and assault, also increased, while there's been a sharp spike in truck hijackings up by nearly 30 percent.

Phiyega says South Africa's graduated into a manufacturing site and transit point for the drug trade.

"We closed 37,900 unlicensed illegal liquor premises and I want to underscore that we confiscated 1.5 billion litres of liquor."

A total of 57 clandestine drug laboratories were dismantled, of which 31 were hydroponic laboratories.

Police confiscated tons of cannabis, mandrax, tik, cocaine and heroin during the period under review.

WATCH: Crime stats alarm Members of Parliament.

POLICE APPEAL FOR GREATER SUPPORT

While the police are being criticised for not implementing a successful plan to combat crime, the officers on the ground have appealed to the people they're expected to protect, for greater support.

The Institute for Security Studies' Gareth Newham says it appears the police just don't have a plan to tackle violent crimes.

"The increases in robberies suggest that police do not have an effective strategy to tackle the armed gangs that commit these robberies."

The Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (Popcru)'s Richard Mamabolo says communities need to play a greater role in crime combatting.

"We cannot expect management to be advised by experts who have book theory, but don't have practical theory and expect to get positive results from that."

The South African Banking Risk Information Centre (Sabric) has welcomed the stats, which show a decrease in crimes affecting the sector, attributing the success to better cooperation with the police.

Meanwhile, it's emerged nearly 700 police officers are among the more than 1.7 million people arrested over the last financial year.

Crooked cops are helping to drive up incidents of crime.

Phiyega says officials arrested 686 police officers in the 2014/2015 financial year.

Other drivers include taxi violence, the burgeoning drug trade and undocumented migrants.

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