8 September 2011
South Africa’s murder rate decreased by 6.5% in 2010/11, while house robberies, business robberies and vehicle hijackings were down by 10.7%, the country’s annual crime statistics reveal.
Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa, releasing the statistics in Pretoria on Thursday, said murders had dropped below the 16 000 mark to 15 940 recorded cases, while attempted murder dropped by 12.2%.
In 1994/95, over 27 000 murders were recorded in the country.
Mthethwa said the figures were encouraging, considering that bringing the murder rate down was not only dependent on the police, but was a societal challenge requiring a coordinated effort.
“These continuous reductions in murder indicate that government is succeeding in its effort,” said Mthethwa.
The so-called “trio crimes” of house robberies, business robberies and vehicle hijackings also showed a decrease, of 10.7%.
House robberies dropped by 10.1%, from 18 786 cases reported in 2009/10 to 16 889 cases in 2010/11.
Tide turns on car hijackings
In the case of car hijackings, the tide seems to be turning as the police reported a 23.6% decrease. Mthethwa said this was a huge improvement, considering that this type of crime was on the increase over the previous three years.
Truck drivers also breathed easier in 2010/11, with 413 cases of truck hijacking reported, down by 29.2% on the previous year.
Burglaries at residential premises also dropped, by 4.8%, but burglaries at non-residential properties, include both larger and smaller businesses, increasedby 0.9%.
Mthethwa said this was a difficult area to manage and secure.
“Based on this persistent challenge in smaller business, we are developing a national small business robbery strategy, which will be finalised by the end of this year and then be rolled out across the country.”
Although the stats showed a general decrease in all crimes, Mthethwa said this was just a motivating factor for the police, and that the fight was far from over.
“Victory against crime is now an achievable goal. However, for as long as young children are still under bondage of crime and drugs, for as long as businesses are robbed, for as long as women are abused and raped, for as long as South Africans are mugged and hijacked – none of us must rest.”