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ISS highlights ‘silver lining’ in latest crime stats

Police Minister Bheki Cele presented the annual crime statistics for South Africa on Friday for the period between April last year to March this year.

Police Minister Bheki Cele during a media briefing on crime statistics in Pretoria on 31 July 2020. Picture: GCIS

JOHANNESBURG – While the annual crime statistics reveal a substantial increase in violent crimes, including murder and sexual offences, the Institute for Security Studies (ISS) said there was a “small silver lining” in the latest figures.

Police Minister Bheki Cele presented the annual crime statistics for South Africa on Friday for the period between April last year to March this year.

The institute said there was a decline in what it calls “crimes of fear,” which has contributed positively to the confidence in policing.

The latest crime statistics show that contact crimes like murder, rape, as well as common assault were still on the rise in the country with and increase of 0.7%.

Johan Burger of the ISS said the statistics displayed a downward trend.

“The increase we have seen in our murder rate has slowed down as it did the year before, so the early indications are that the level of increase in our murder rate has stabilised. This means in the next year or two our murder rate will start coming down.”

Burger said aggravated robbery, including cases of carjacking, had seen the biggest increase year on year, with police reporting 18,162 cases over the 2019/2020 period. This equates to 50 cars being stolen in South Africa every day.

The biggest reduction in crimes was also seen in bank robberies, where no crimes were recorded.

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