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Minister Bheki Cele: Quarter One Crime Statistics 2022/2023

19 Aug 2022

Speaking notes delivered by Police Minister General Bheki Cele (MP) at the occasion of the release of the Quarter One Crime Statistics 2022/2023 hosted in Pretoria, Gauteng, on Friday 19 August 2021

Deputy Minister of Police, Hon Cassel Mathale;
National Commissioner of the SAPS; General Fannie Masemola;
National Head of DPCI, Adv/Dr Lt General Godfrey Lebeya;
Deputy National Commissioners;
Provincial Commissioners and Divisional Commissioners;
Senior Officers;
Members of the Media;
Ladies and Gentlemen;

Good morning

The crime statistics we are releasing this afternoon, reflect crimes that were reported to SAPS from April to June of this year.

These crime figures are compared to the same period last year, when the country was placed under Lockdown level 1 and 2 due to the outbreak of the COVID-19.

Sexual violence

The first quarter of 2022/2023 financial year, shows decreases in Total Sexual Offences such as Rape, Sexual Assault, Attempted Sexual Offences and Contact Sexual Offences.

This means there was a drop of over 800 cases of sexual offences that are far more often, perpetrated on women.

Rape

9 516 rape cases were opened with SAPS, between April and June 2022. This is almost 500 less rape cases reported, compared to the same period last year.

While rape cases declined in all provinces, the North West and Northern Cape provinces are the only provinces to report increases in this crime category.

  • 3 780 of the rapes took place in the homes of the rapists or homes of the victims.
  • 1 546 people were raped in public places such as streets, parks and beaches.
  • Public transportation such as buses, taxis and trains are third most likely places of occurrence for rape cases.
     

Rape prosecutions

It is on this that score the SAPS will continue to prioritize Gender Based Violence

(GBV) related crimes.

Between April and June this year, 286 rapists were convicted through investigative work done by the Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences (FCS) unit.

The FCS unit of the SAPS investigates crimes committed against women and children and vulnerable groups.

Out of the 286 rape convictions, 46 of the rapists were sentenced to life behind bars.

While the majority of rapes do take place behind closed doors and are hard to police, we are confident that it is through the FCS detective work that is preventing more rapes, hence the decrease in rape cases during the reporting period.

Serial rapists are stopped in their tracks and such convictions ensure these heartless rapists never rape again.

16 offenders involved in 65 serial sexual offence cases were finalized and convicted.

They will be serving a total of 20 life and 886 years imprisonment.

Members of the media, SAPS continues to improve and positively respond to what has been declared a pandemic by the President.

Evidence collection kits also known as rape kits and buccal sample kits continue to be procured and available for all victims of sexual crimes.

DNA

The establishment of a joint project between the National Prosecuting Authority

(NPA) and SAPS Forensic Science Laboratories, continues to focus on the prioritization of court-ready cases, where there are outstanding forensic reports.

A total of 12 283 cases of rape and murder were prioritized as per requests and responded to, from August 2021 to July 2022.

ALL three categories of assault have reported decreases, this includes Assault GBH which saw over 7% less cases.

Contact crimes cases were 2 205 less compared to the same period last year.

The reduction is inclusive of sexual offences, common robberies, common assault and assault with intent to inflict grievous bodily harm.

All these combined decreases have resulted in a 1,5% drop in all contact crimes.

Heightened police action such as disruptive operations, targeted stop and searches and Vehicle Control Point, between April and June 2022 have also meant more firearms, more drugs were taken off the streets.

An increased number of Domestic Violence perpetrators and drunk drivers were arrested as a result of police actions during the reporting period.

Farm murders also showed a decrease compared to the same comparative period.

These decreases are most welcomed and are demonstrative outcomes of the work put in by provinces, to increase the police footprint in communities.

Heightened police visibility is yielding positive results.

We are expanding police footprint within limited resources.

However, more of this and other operational interventions are still needed, to ensure South Africans are safe especially in public spaces.

As the ministry we maintain that policing is not at police stations but policing is on the streets where crimes are likely to be prevented.

The saturation of the streets by law enforcement officers can only work in our favour and translate to safer communities.

After all police must be embedded in the communities they are serving, police should be available and be visible at all times.

Commissioner, let’s maintain this posture and improve it where possible.

Murder

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I have highlighted some successes that have been achieved by the SAPS during the reporting period.

However, the number of murders in this country remains high and worrisome.

6 424 people were killed by other persons in South Africa in the first quarter of

2022/2023 financial year.

This is an increase of 664 more people murdered, compared to the same period last year, when the country was placed under COVID-19 Lockdown level one and two.

The three main causes for murders remain arguments and misunderstandings.

Retaliations and revenge murders were second motive for murder and vigilantism was the third most likely cause of murder in South Africa.

The uMlazi, Plessislaer police stations in KwaZulu-Natal and uMthatha station in the Eastern Cape registered the highest murder cases during this period.

221 murder cases were reported in those three areas, combined.

The Police ministry and SAPS management recently met with Umlazi policing structures, traditional and religious leaders, business and the youth in an effort to tighten policing in the area.

It is during this engagement that the improvement of police response time and shortage of vehicles and how environmental design impeded policing was raised sharply and is being urgently addressed at National Provincial and local government level.

The multi-stakeholder approach and working closely with the community in the

Umlazi policing area, should have an impact on violent crime if sustained and maintained as agreed.

Police killings

Fighting crime has also come at a cost for members of the SAPS across the country.

18 police officers were killed during this reporting period.

13 less police officers were killed during this reporting period.

Any attack on police officer is an attack on the state and should be condemned from all quarters.

Firearms are three times likely to be the weapon of choice in all the reported murders, 2 766 people were shot to death.

912 of KwaZulu-Natal murders were as a result of firearms followed by the Gauteng

Province with 697 deaths attributed to firearms.

498 people died from gunshot wounds in the Western Cape Province.

Commissioner, the expansion of illegal firearms and the damage and destruction they can cause, is well documented.

These crime statistics should be used as a management tool to guide the operational plans to deal with amongst other crimes, the proliferation of firearms.

Police operational responses nationwide, should continue to remove guns that are in the wrong hands.

Multiple murders

The SAPS investigated 284 dockets of multiple murders, with 664 victims.

The KwaZulu-Natal province recorded the highest number of multiple murders, followed by Gauteng and the Eastern Cape in which two of more victims were killed at a time.

The majority of these murders were committed with a firearm.

Provincial Commissioners, while more work needs to be done, it is encouraging that arrests are being made in this regard.

The Western Cape has made inroads in arresting a man who is believed to be the mastermind behind the extortion related multiple-murders in areas around the Cape Metropole.

More suspects have also been arrested and are going through the court processes, answering to their alleged roles related to the multiple murders.

Women and children

Fellow citizens, all communities must join hands in having a zero tolerance approach when it comes to crimes committed against women and children.

The reporting period of April to June shows that South Africa was brutal and dangerous for women and children.

Violent crimes committed against women and children recorded alarmingly high and unacceptable levels.

From April to June 2022, 855 women and 243 children were killed in South Africa.

Over 11 thousand Assault GBH cases, with female victims, were opened with the police.

1 670 such cases involved children.

Police are investigating attempted murder dockets for over 1400 women and children who escaped death.

Place of occurance

Ladies and Gentlemen, it is disturbingly worrying that 19 child murders took place at institutions of learning.

This includes, day care facilities primary and high schools, tertiary institutions.

Liquor and drugs

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Visits to police stations conducted by police ministry remains an integral part of our work to better improve service delivery at station level.

With every police station visited by this Ministry and SAPS management, the availability of liquor in many communities is always a common occurrence.

The fact is, the more liquor outlets there are in a community, cases of contact crimes will also be very high.

Liquor remains one of the biggest contributors of crime.

Just yesterday, we engaged residents of Khayelitsha together with the role-players in the liquor industry, to raise awareness and at the same time address liquor as a crime contributor.

We cannot accept as a nation that 227 people between April and June 2022 were killed in places of entertainment such as taverns, pubs and bars.

In 749 murder cases, liquor was involved.

The reality is that liquor was during this reporting period, involved in over 4 thousand cases of assault GBH.

In 1 212 rape cases, alcohol was involved during the commission of the crime.

We urge communities, civil society, religious organizations and various community organizations to look at addressing the role liquor is playing in communities and as a crime contributor.

Such conversations combined with awareness programs and action by the SAPS, are important and do lead to prevention of many violent crimes.

In Closing,

I wish to commend all Provincial Commissioners for the significant reduction in a number of priority crimes during this reporting period, in particular Mpumalanga province under the leadership of Lt General Daphney Manamela.

The Mpumalanga province recorded decreases in all contact crimes such as sexual offences, attempted murder, assault GBH, common assault, common robbery and robbery with aggravating circumstances.

Allow me to quickly highlight some reductions achieved by this province.

During April and June, Mpumalanga province recorded a 2,5% decrease in murder cases.

A 9,7% drop in sexual offences was also noted.

Trio Crimes recorded double-digit decreases.

A 33.3% drop in Cash in transit robberies.

Carjacking figures in Mpumalanga decreased by 23.4%

Mpumalanga province owes the reductions to high police visibility and intelligence led operations in crime hot spots.

We further encourage all Provincial Commissioners to continue to increase their efforts in crime prevention and crime combating operations.

Most importantly community policing partnerships and expanding the eyes and ears of law enforcement on the ground must be intensified.

We also encourage South Africans to work with the police and provide information that can assist in police investigations.

Police at station level are also directed to continue to improve the quality of service provided to the communities they serve and protect.

“Iphoyisa Iphoyisa Ngomphakathi

This combination will work in improving the overall burden of crime in all communities.

After all EVERYONE has a role to play towards lowering the crime in the country.

With these opening remarks, let me hand over to Major General Sekhukhune will give a presentation which will reflect an overview of the first quarter of  2022/2023.

I thank you

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