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SA seeing major decline in serious crime since start of lockdown - Cele

According to the police ministry, the decrease is because people were not allowed to buy alcohol or move freely.

Police Minister Bheki Cele at an inter-ministerial briefing on the coronavirus in Pretoria on 13 March 2020. Picture: Sethembiso Zulu/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - There’s been a decline in serious and violent crime since the start of the 21-day national lockdown.

According to the police ministry, this is because people were not allowed to buy alcohol or move freely.

In analysing crime and comparing the first week of the lockdown to the same period in 2019, Police Minister Bheki Cele said the number of murder cases dropped from 326 to 94.

There was also a decline in the number of rape cases reported from 699 a year ago to 101.

Cases of assault with the intention to inflict grievous bodily harm dropped from 2,673 to 456.

Trio crimes, which include hijackings, business, and house robberies, decreased from 8,853 to 2,098.

In a statement, the police ministry indicated the analysis was based on a preliminary report that was yet to undergo the necessary verification.

Meanwhile, police have arrested more than 17,000 people for violating lockdown regulations.

In Gauteng, 1,888 people were apprehended and in the Western Cape 4,700.

CONCERNING GBV COMPLAINTS

Cele has once again raised concerns about the increasing number of gender-based violence crimes.

He said over 2,300 complaints had been made since the beginning of the 21-day lockdown, with 148 suspects arrested.

Spokesperson Mathapelo Peters said: “In relation to gender-based violence, Mr Cele confirmed that the number of confirmed cases remained high and therefore concerning. Over 2,300 calls o0r complaints have been registered since the lockdown on 27 March 2020 until 31 March 2020.”

For official information about COVID-19 from the Department of Health, please click here.

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