1 July 2008
While South Africa’s crime statistics for 2007/08 show a continuation of the steady decline in crime levels over the past five years, the level of crime in the country is still unacceptably high, says Safety and Security Minister Charles Nqakula.
Decrease in most contact crimes
Releasing the crime stats in Pretoria on Monday, the South African Police Service said there was a decrease in most “contact crimes” in 2007/08.
Decreases in eight contact crime categories resulted in an overall 6.4% decrease in contact crimes compared to the previous year.
Common assault dropped by 6.6%, common robbery by 9.5%, indecent assault by 2.1%, rape by 8.8%, assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm by 4.6%, and attempted murder by 7.5%.
Murders decreased by 4.7%, and robbery with aggravating circumstances was down by 7.4% compared to 2006/07.
Police analyst Chris de Kock said the decrease indicated that something was being done well. “This decrease shows that something is slowly but surely changing in society,” De Kock said. “It shows hard work not only from the police side but the non-governmental organisations and the society in general.”
House and business robberies, vehicle hijackings
However, the increase in key sub-categories of robbery with aggravating circumstances was of extreme concern, De Kock said.
House robberies increased by 13.5%, robberies at business premises rocketed by 47.4%, truck hijackings were up by 39.6% and car hijackings by 4.4%.
“[The] government would have wanted to see a more drastic decrease in the levels, particularly given the interventions that have been made,” Minister Nqakula said.