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Contact crimes increase slightly in SA

The Eastern Cape, the Free State and KwaZulu-Natal are the only provinces to record a drop in contact crime.

FILE: A police crime scene. Picture: Thomas Holder/EWN

CAPE TOWN - Contact crimes, including murder, assault and sexual assault have increased by one percent.

The South African Police Service's top management is briefing Parliament's portfolio committee on police on the crime stats for the 2015/2016 financial year.

They have told Members of Parliament that around 1.7 million serious crimes were reported in the previous financial year.

Police management has told MPs that about 2.1 million crimes were recorded in the last financial year and serious crimes account for at least 83% of that number.

The Eastern Cape, the Free State and KwaZulu-Natal are the only provinces to record a drop in contact crime.

The police's Norman Sekhukhune says: "When we break down the contact crimes we observe that murder has increased by 0.3 percentage points, sexual offences have also decreased. Attempted murder has also increased."

In terms of murder, the Eastern Cape had more than 3,600 killings reported in the 2015/16 financial year.

Gauteng recorded more than 3,800 murders in the same period.

Meanwhile, acting National Police Commissioner, Kgomotso Phahlane has bemoaned the ongoing criticism of the Saps.

He says men and women in blue are doing the best they can to help reduce crime.

"Policing remains a thankless job despite the efforts that we're putting in to police our society, we continue to be pelted with observations and I'll call them 'armchair observations.'"