19 September 2013
Bank robberies and cash-in-transit heists dropped sharply in South Africa in 2012/13, according to the latest national crime statistics.
The statistics, released by Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa in Pretoria on Thursday, show that bank robberies were down by 80% compared to the previous year, while cash-in-transit robberies decreased by 20.3%.
There was also an 18% decrease in ATM bombings, from 261 cases in 2011/12 to 214 cases in 2012/13.
Mthethwa attributed this to lessons learnt from partnerships with industry bodies such as the South African Banking Risk Information Centre (Sabric). “The police alone would not have been able to break the backbones of these crimes over the past few years,” he said.
Sabric CEO Kalyani Pillay said the downward trend demonstrates the commitment shown by policemen and women working together with the banks, cash-in-transit companies and Sabric to bring perpetrators to book.
Shoplifting in the country also dropped by 3.9%, thanks to sharing of intelligence with mall managers, while motor vehicles theft decreased by 4.4%, with Mthethwa attributing this both to police recoveries and advanced vehicle security technologies.
Car hijackings, burglaries up
Car hijackings, however, increased by 2.1% in 2012/13 compared to the previous year – even though, on a longer view, they were still 35.7% lower than they were nine years ago – while truck hijackings increased by 14.9%, and theft out of motor vehicles increased by 3.6%.
Burglaries at residential and nonresidential properties also increased, by 3.3% and 1.7% respectively – although residential burglaries remained 22.3% down on levels of nine years ago. Robberies at business premises dropped by 0.6%, but residential robberies increased by 3.6%.
Robberies with aggravating circumstances were up by 1.2%, but common robberies were down by 2.2%.
The introduction of rural safety priority committees contributed to a 6.5% decrease in stock theft.
Meanwhile, malicious damage to property decreased by 4.1%, while arson was also down by 8.7%.
Illegal possession of firearms decreased by 0.7%. The South African Police Service confiscated 20 145 firearms in 2012/12, while 4 936 firearms were voluntary surrendered. A total of 56 051 firearms were destroyed.
SAnews.gov.za and SAinfo reporter