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Educational institutions seeing increase in sexual violence - Cele

Police Minister Bheki Cele on Friday said that certain categories of sexual offences recorded had decreased while other categories were on the increase.

FILE: Police Minister Bheki Cele during a media briefing in Pretoria on 22 May 2020. Picture: Twitter

JOHANNESBURG - Police Minister Bheki Cele on Friday said that educational institutions in the country were becoming hot spots for sexual violence, with 380 cases of rape reported at either schools, universities, colleges, or daycare facilities.

Cele made the announcement at a briefing in Pretoria on the 2019/2020 national crime statistics. The stats reflected crimes that occurred from 1 April 2019 to the end of March 2020, which means the figures don't include the lockdown period.

The minister said that certain categories of sexual offences recorded had decreased while other categories were on the increase. He said that the crime stats for the period under review reflected the slowing down of the increase in violent crimes.

All sexual offences increased by 1.7% and contact crimes (murder, attempted murder, and sexual offences, including common assault and robbery) increased by 0.7%.

Rape increased from 41,583 cases to 42,289 cases. Sexual assault was up from 7,437 cases to 7,749 cases.

Attempted sexual offences decreased from 2,146 to 2,076. Contact sexual offences reduced from 1,254 to 1,179.

“Fellow South Africans, this category of crime has terrorised most households and communities as most of these crimes happen behind closed doors and are only publicised when the offence has been committed and in most cases when victims of crimes are no more,” Cele said.

Cele said that awareness campaigns on gender-based violence (GBV) and femicide should be intensified with the private sector and gender activists’ organisations working together with government to battle the scourge.

GBV CASES DURING LOCKDOWN

Earlier this year in May, Gauteng Community Safety acting head of department Sipho Thandekwayo revealed that police in the province had opened 1,426 cases linked to GBV and domestic abuse during the initial hard lockdown under level 5.

Thandekwayo said the majority of cases were reported in Johannesburg, Tshwane, Sedibeng, the West Rand, and Ekurhuleni.

A coalition of NGOs helping fight against GBV also reported over 120,000 calls during the first three weeks of the lockdown.

Meanwhile, Cele also said that crime statistics would in the future be released quarterly.

“The crime statistics are an important link in the value chain of the statistics system, which informs policy direction in the criminal justice system. The involvement of Statistics South Africa further ensures the data integrity in the process,” Cele said.

WATCH: Police Minister Bheki Cele releases latest crime stats

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