(008274.77-E001840.93NAVRLOSUC20V)[I wonder what the reason for this is? Is this related to lockdown, or the economic downturn due to the lockdowns? Jan]
The shocking spike reflected in the official crime statistics of South Africa serves as proof that the police force is busy losing the fight against crime at a tremendous pace.
It also serves as proof of the fact that there are underlying problems in the police force that the government is apparently unable to resolve.
No Minister of Police should be retained in his position if the police force is obviously losing the fight against crime and, therefore, it makes no sense that President Cyril Ramaphosa kept Minister Bheki Cele on as Minister of Police with the recent Cabinet reshuffle.
During the first quarter of the financial year, all contact crime in the country increased with double figures when compared to the same period last year.
Murder has increased with 66,2% and from the beginning of April to the end of June, 5 760 people were murdered. That is 2 295 more than in the corresponding period last year.
Apart from murder, the other contact crimes which include attempted murder, sexual offences and all forms of assault have increased with 60,6%.
There were 76 936 incidents of assault, while rape increased with 72,4%.
A total of 181 farm attacks were recorded and 15 people were murdered in these attacks.
Transit heists accompanied by excessive violence have spiked with a staggering 142,1%. A total of 46 transit heists occurred – 27 more than in the same period last year.
The dreaded trio crimes, like armed robbery, carjacking and attacks in homes have likewise shown a sharp rise with hijackings increasing with 92,2%.
Minister Cele tried to dilute these figures by comparing them to the lockdown period of last year. It is, however, not entirely consistent as the police should have foreseen an increase and should have planned accordingly.
During the recent unrest in the country, it became abundantly clear that South Africa’s intelligence services are not up to standard.
These latest crime statistics, furthermore, serve as proof that the police’s crime intelligence structures do not have the ability to do what they are supposed to.
The announcement of the latest crime statistics, Minister Cele admitted to a journalist that over the last two financial years, no new recruits have been taken up into the police force. It has resulted in a shortage of 14 000 police officers. Evidently, seasoned and experienced police officers are leaving the service, but are not being replaced.
Government must seriously reflect on all this and take decisive steps to keep South Africa from turning into a crime paradise.
Read the original article in Afrikaans by Dr Pieter Groenewald on FF Plus