9 September 2011
It was happy hunting for the police during the 2010/11 financial year, with detectives tracking down and arresting the majority of criminals topping South Africa’s most wanted list.
Speaking at the release of the annual crime statistics in Pretoria on Thursday, Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa noted that the police had recorded a number of successes during the financial year.
The Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation, known as the Hawks, had arrested 49 of the country’s 50 most wanted criminals.
“During the period under review, the directorate profiled and pursued 50 most wanted suspects for armed robberies, ATM bombings, cash-in-transit and bank robberies. They apprehended 49, and they are in hot pursuit of the one elusive scoundrel who is still at large,” Mthethwa said.
With regards to commercial crime, the Hawks arrested 8 294 suspects and secured 5 267 convictions. The unit made 2 439 arrests in relation to organised crime, securing 532 convictions.
On a sore note, the minister said the killing of police officers remained a major concern, even though a slight decrease had been noted in the number of police officers killed in the 2010/2011 financial year.
During the period under review, 94 police officers died in the line of duty. This figure was a slight decline from the 110 who lost their lives while serving the country in 2009/10.
“We are also concerned about the increasing attacks and killing of our officers since the beginning of the year, but remain confident that as we work with all our partners, we will be able to defeat these heartless criminals,” the minister said.