Saartjie Baartman Centre raises concerns after crime stats released

The centre has also called for crime stats to have a subcategory for intimate partner violence.

FILE: The Saartjie Baartman Centre is a centre for women and children who are survivors of abuse. Picture: Cindy Archillies/EWN

CAPE TOWN - The Saartjie Baartman Centre for Women and Children in Cape Town says that crime stats should include a subcategory for intimate partner violence.

It believes this will allow experts and authorities to develop better strategies to curb femicide and domestic abuse.

Police revealed on Tuesday that the number of reported rape cases in South Africa decreased by 4%, but the number of sexual assaults has increased by 0.9%.

Overall, the number of reported sexual offences has decreased by 4.3%.

The Saartjie Baartman centre's Shaheema McLeod says that crimes against children are of particular concern.

“While the minister said that officers on the ground need to provide services, but who is going to force their hand and who is going to ensure that women and children feel safe to report violations?"

More than 3,000 women and children were murdered nationally in the 2016/2017 financial year.

Police Minister Fikile Mbalula said that while statistics show that crime is generally down, violent crime remains a problem.

Mbalula says they need to change perceptions about police and crime. He acknowledges that South Africans are not feeling safer, adding intelligence-led crime fighting and the “tactical deployment” of the army will help.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)