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Minister Bheki Cele: Quarter One Crime Statistics 2021/2022

20 Aug 2021

Speaking notes delivered by Police Minister General Bheki Cele (MP) at the occasion of the release of the Quarter One Crime Statistics 2021/2022 hosted in Pretoria, Gauteng.

National Commissioner of the SAPS; General Kehla Sitole;
National Head of DPCI Lt Gen/ Adv Godfrey Lebeya;
Deputy National Commissioners; Provincial Commissioners and Divisional Commissioners;
National Head of DPCI head Lt Gen Adv Godfrey Lebeya;
The Secretary Police, Mr Alvin Rapea;
The CEO of PSIRA, Mr Sam Chauke;
IPID Head Jennifer Ntlatseng;
Senior Officers; Heads of Entities;
All Heads of Department;
Members of the Media

A very good afternoon to you all. 

Today, I officially released the Police recorded Crime Statistics for the 1st Quarter of this financial year 2021/2022. Standing high on this pedestal today reminds me of the same period last year; when I addressed the nation releasing the Crime Statistics of the 1st Quarter.  

I can vividly remember the widely popped eyes of many journalists who stared at me in disbelief as I presented the Crime Statistics of a Crime free /holiday period of last year which coincided with lockdown level 5, level 4 and level 3 respectively.  

Fellow South Africans the 1st Quarter of the 2020/21 financial year coincided with level 5 lockdown that kept almost everyone indoors and most businesses closed including taverns, liquor outlets, night clubs, sporting activities and places of entertainment which are generally attributors to causative factors of crime.  

The never seen before pleasant picture of last year was compared to a normal period of 2019 and hence the comparison was distorted and very skewed. 

While MORE lives were saved during the ‘Crime Holiday’ the Police did not claim easy victories.  

Today Ladies and Gentlemen, are in the same space of comparing the incomparable. The very same shock of last year is repeating itself with an exaggerated extreme opposite to say the least. The double figure eye popping increase in most crime categories is informed by the same reasons stated above of adjusted lockdown levels and distorted crime trends.  

Fellow South Africans, 

It is important for us to give this particular context and adequate explanation upfront, to mitigate the shock and fears that may arise at this juncture. 

Equally the lockdown crime trends and figures should not be thrown into the political battlefield for poor political point scoring but instead; this should begin to properly define the impact of the pandemic in many areas of our existence, going forward including the subject of Crime and its remnants.  

Ladies and Gentlemen, in the first quarter, the Sub- categories of crimes such as Contact crimes, Sexual offences, Aggravated robberies, Contact-related and Property-related crimes have recorded a never seen before double digit increases.

Ordinarily, this would have been catastrophic BUT I assure the nation, this is NOT the case.

I repeat, we cannot compare the same period of this year and last year, due to the skewed and abnormal crime trends, caused by the different levels of Lockdown, if we are to understand this crime picture that we are presenting to you today. 

While we will not sweep the high and unnatural figures under the carpet, we will instead bring to the fore a holistic picture of comparing the 2021/22 Quarter one crime figures to a ‘normal period’ two years ago where there was no Lockdown. 

Figures breakdown

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Contact crimes such as murder, attempted murder, sexual offences and all categories of assault registered a 60, 6% increase, compared to the corresponding period of the previous financial year.  

Murder

In the three months of reporting, a 66, 2 % increase in murder was recorded.

However compared to the previous normal period of 2019/2020 financial year, the murder rate would have increased by 6.7%.

Between April 2021 to end of June 2021, 5 760 people were killed in South Africa. 

This is 2 294 more people killed compared to the corresponding period in the previous financial year.

Compared to a period without Lockdown, it would result in an increase of 362 more deaths.

Out of the Top 30 murder stations, the Khayelitsha, Phillipi East and Bityi police stations in the Western Cape and Eastern Cape recorded decreases in their murder figures.

But despite these drops, the volumes of murder remain high. 

Causes of murder

From a sample of 4 467 cases it was determined that a total of 2 531 people were murdered in public places like on the street, open field, parking areas and abandoned buildings.

1 385 murders occurred at the home of the victim or of the perpetrator.

206 of the murders occurred at Liquor outlets and are the fourth most likely place to be killed in South Africa.

Overall, contact crimes increased by 60.6% compared to the skewed same period last year, If comparison was made to the normal period, prior to the country being placed under lockdown Level 5, 4 and 3, this would have resulted in an increase of 0.6% . 

The top four causative factors of these murders are arguments, robberies, mob justice incidents and gang-related killings.

We welcome the arrest of the 14th suspect linked to the brutal killing of 8 young men in Zandspruit on the 17th of May. We also call on police to improve their working relations and service delivery to communities, so that residents don’t resort to taking the law into their own hands. 

Rape

10 006 people were raped between April and June 2021.

This is an increase of 4 201 cases, amounting to a 72.4% increase, compared to the skewed previous reporting period.

This number drops drastically to 2.8% if comparison was made to the normal period prior to Lockdown.

A sample of 5 439 rape cases revealed that 3 766 of the rape incidents took place at the home of the victim or the home of the rapist.

487 rape cases were domestic violence related.

The Inanda police station in Kwa-Zulu Natal, Delft in the Western Cape and the Eastern Cape’s Lusikisiki police stations recorded the highest incidents of rape.

The 47.1% increase is recorded for Sexual offences when compared to the previous skewed reporting period, this figure is revised to 5.0% if compared to the previous normal period of 2019/2020 financial year

Farm Attacks

181 attacks on farms and small-holdings occurred between April and the end of June 2021.

119 of the incidents were robbery related, resulting in 15 murders. 

Property Related Crimes

While all Property Related crimes increased by 6.0%, Police continue to clamp down on Stock theft, which recorded a decrease of 8.0%. If comparison was made to the normal period of 2019/2020 this would have resulted in a 13.5% decrease. 

Stock theft decreased in six of the nine provinces with the highest volume decrease recorded in the Eastern Cape of 398 incidents less. Burglary at non-residential premises declined drastically by 22.4%.

May I add that, that number would have decreased by 15.3% if compared to the 2019/2020 financial period. 

Assault

All assault categories reported double digit increases compared to the distorted reporting period on 2020/2021 period.

76 936 cases of common assault and assault GBH were opened with the police in the three months of reporting.

Over 15 thousand of the cases were Domestic Violence related, meaning the victim and perpetrator have a relationship.

The top three areas of occurrence of these assaults are at the home of the victim or perpetrator, public places and liquor outlets.

Arguments are by far the leading causes of the assaults. 

Trio Crimes

The Trio Crimes also increased compared to the distorted reporting period on 2020/2021 period. 

Aggravated robberies such as Carjacking increased by 92.2% compared to the previous corresponding period. 

This figure would have increased by 13.1% if compared to the same period in 2019/2020. 

There were 1 340 more residential robberies in the month of April to June 2020, compared to the corresponding period in the previous financial year.

Compared to 2019/2020 financial year, there are 132 more cases recorded. 

CITs

Ladies and Gentlemen,

46 Cash-in-Transit heists were committed between April and June this year. These figures show there were 27 more CITs heists compared to the previous reporting period.

However, compared to the same period in 2019/2020, 8 more cases were recorded. 

It is clear that the thugs involved in CITs will stop at nothing to get what they want, including killing police officers and putting the lives of innocent people at risk.

With that said, police are pushing back on this crime trend.

Using intelligence and combination of shared resources, police continue to intercept and are taking down these highly organised gangs. 

In June this year, Police conducted a take down operation in Midrand, where police intercepted a group of 27 heavily armed gang planning a CIT robbery. In the exchange of fire, 23 of them were arrested and four were fatally wounded. 

Four of the 15 vehicles found on the scene were confirmed stolen, and high calibre firearms were found on the scene as well.

In a separate incident, in Brakpan, police also pounced on a gang plotting a CIT robbery three weeks ago that resulted in the fatal shooting of a police officer.

In this regard, I attended the funeral service of Gauteng Highway Patrol unit member, Constable Molwantwa Molefi who was fatally wounded  during the exchange of fire; while two suspects were also fatally wounded in the same incident. 

The National Commissioner has sanctioned an urgent internal investigation into the allegations of theft of firearms by police members at the Norwood Police Station, allegedly used by the CIT gang. This is in line with the departmental clean-up campaign.

While some of the suspects in the brakpan scene, managed to flee the scene, two of them were fatally wounded.

The police operation resulted in the arrest of 19 suspects and the recovery of scores of vehicles and firearms.

A total of 32 SAPS members have been killed in the first quarter of the 2021/2022 financial year. 9 of these members died while on duty and we salute them.

Conclusion

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The Crime Statistics of the 1st Quarter of 2021/2022 financial year are dismal, IF not understood within context that the lockdown levels introduced an irregular variation to the crime trends.

It is on this score that we brought into focus the comparison of the current period, to smooth out the irregular variation, introduced by the different levels of Lockdown restrictions. 

National Commissioner,

This however doesn’t get us off the hook.

While the double-digit increases don’t necessarily reflect a true picture because they are being compared to an abnormal period, when the country was at a standstill.

It still means more work must be done to ensure the safety of all those who live within our boarders. 

COVID-19 Realities

Yes, the impact of COVID-19 has been hard on the SAPS.

The police service is bleeding members through attrition, and the virus has resulted in the inability to take in new police recruits for 2020 and 2021.

The virus has also meant scores of police stations have had to close due to contamination. This virus has infected over 38 000 members. 

Sadly 821 of our colleagues have perished due to this virus, including our Deputy National Commissioner Lieutenant General Sindile Mfazi who passed away last month.

We are also appreciative that over 50% of our members have been vaccinated and making a call to all of our members to avail themselves

While SAPS vaccination sites are closed, officers and support personnel staff of ALL ages are encouraged to vaccinate at the Department of Health vaccination sites and registered pharmacies.

But with these realities that face the SAPS, complacency just can’t be tolerated National Commissioner.

The ‘Crime Holiday’ is LONG gone and these figures should action us and strengthen our resolve.

The figures as distorted as they are must also sharpen the SAPS operational responses to make South Africa safer for ALL who live in it. 

With that let me handover to Major General Thulare Sekhukhune.

He will take us through presentation which will reflect an overview of the 2021/2022 Quarter one crime statistics. 

Siyabonga

Sub-Categories

2019/2020 vs 2020/2021

2019/2020 vs 2021/2022

Contact Crimes

60.6% 

0.6%

All Sexual Offences

74.1%       

5.0%

Aggrivated Robbery

107%

45.2%

Contact-Related Crimes

42.3%           

0.5%

Property-Related Crimes

6.0%        

- 24.8%

Contact Crimes

2019/2020 vs 2020/2021

2019/2020 vs 2021/2022

Murder 

66.2%

 6.7%

Sexual Offences 

74.1 %

 5.0%

Attempted Murder 

47.5%

 12.5%

Assault to do grievous bodily harm

70.1%

 0.3%

Common Assault

51.6%

 8.9%

Common Robbery 

65.4%

- 16.9%

Robbery with aggravating circumstances

56.8%

- 5.1%

All Sexual Offences

2019/2020 vs 2020/2021

2019/2020 vs 2021/2022

Rape

72.4%

 2.8%

Sexual Assault 

77.6%

 13.9%

Attempted Sexual Offences

89.7%

 13.2%

Contact Sexual Offences 

56.8%

 20.0%

Aggrivated Robbery

2019/2020 vs 2020/2021

2019/2020 vs 2021/2022

Carjacking 

92.2%

13.1%

Robbery at Residential Premises

33.4%

2.5%

Robbery at Non-Residential Premises

57.3%

3.0%

Robbery of Cash-In-Transit

142.1%

21.1%

Bank Robbery 

One count higher

One count higher

Truck hijacking 

107.6%

45.2%

 

 

 

Contact-Related Crimes

2019/2020 vs 2020/2021

2019/2020 vs 2021/2022

Arson 

54.5%

 3.7%

Malicious damage to property

41.9%

 0.4%

Property-Related Crimes

2019/2020 vs 2020/2021

2019/2020 vs 2021/2022

Burglary at non-residential premises

 -22.4%

 -15.3%

Burglary at residential premises

 6.3%

 -26.1%

Theft of motor vehicle and motor cycle

 69.5%

 -20.3%

Theft out of or from motor vehicle

 

 21.5%

 -32.3%

Stock-theft

 

-8.0%

 -13.5%