Despite slight drop, violent crime remains a problem
Police Minister Fikile Mbalula released crime statistics in Parliament on Tuesday.
CAPE TOWN - The 2016/2017 national crime statistics show murder and aggravated robberies have continued an upward trend.
Despite decreases in overall serious crimes, murder has gone up by 1.8%, while aggravated robbery increased by 6.4%.
Police Minister Fikile Mbalula released the statistics in Parliament on Tuesday.
Mbalula says although the statistics show that crime is generally down, violent crime remains a problem.
“Yes, we have a 1.8% drop in crime. I do not feel it. And our people do not feel it.”
Contact crimes have shown a 2.4% decrease following two consecutive increases in previous years.
“Despite the decrease in this financial year, some of the individual categories such as murder and robbery with aggravating circumstances have over the past four financial years tended to reflect an upward trend.”
Car hijackings are up by 14.5%, while cash-in-transit heists have increased by 10.9%.
On the decline, it seems, are sexual offences: the figures show a drop of just over 4%.
But pressure groups have long warned that many sex crimes go unreported.
Mbalula says the 1.8% general decrease in crime is not being felt by South Africans whose perceptions about the police may only change when they see action.
Mbalula says they need to change perceptions about police and crime.
“The hard perception is that crime is going up because for us to make an impact it means that impact must be felt on the ground and that’s what statistics will mean going forward ... if all South Africans across acknowledge and feel the decrease.”
Mbalula acknowledges that South Africans are not feeling safer.
Mbalula says intelligence-led crime fighting and the “tactical deployment” of the army will help.
Mbalula acknowledged that most South Africans live “under siege”.
“Our people are losing their children from heinous crimes, drug gangs, infighting for turf wars.”
He seems set on using the Defence Force to bolster the police’s capacity to deal with crime in some of the most dangerous parts of Gauteng, Cape Town and Kwa-Zulu Natal.
“But we’re looking at tactical deployment and them being led by the South African Police Services.”
Members of the police portfolio committee believe the 6.4% increase in aggravated robberies is contributing to a general feeling of not being safe at home or on the road.
WATCH: Mbalula briefs media