19 September 2013
South Africa’s overall crime rate continues to decline, Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa said at the release of the 2012/13 national crime statistics in Pretoria on Thursday.
Mthethwa said that the level of contact crime in South Africa decreased by 4.2% in 2012/13 compared to the year before, by 16% compared to four years ago, and by 38.2% compared to nine years ago.
The country’s murder rate, however, was up slightly, by 0.6%, compared to the previous year – even though it as still 16.6% down on four years ago and 27.2% lower than it was nine years ago. Attempted murders, meanwhile, spiked by 6.5% year-on-year in 2012.
Mthethwa said that rapes were down by 0.4% compared to a year ago, and by 3.3% compared to the levels of four years ago, but that these figures were still unacceptably high.
Overall, crimes against women decreased by 11.1% compared to four years ago, from 197 877 to 175 880 cases.
Mthethwa said there were 896 298 serious crime arrests in 2012/13 compared to 777 140 in 2011/12. Convictions for serious crimes totalled 352 513, compared to 307 580 the year before.
Mthethwa said the year had been characterised by growing unity in action against crime, together with a focus on improving living conditions for all, especially the poor.
He said the statistics showed that police interventions were having the desired results, but that there was still a long way to go to rid South Africa of crime.
“Our journey since apartheid gives us confidence that we will reach a crime-free society,” he said.