Speaking notes delivered by Police Minister General Bheki Cele (MP) at the occasion of the release of the Quarter Four Crime Statistics 2021/2022 hosted in Pretoria on Friday 3 June 2022
National Commissioner of the SAPS; General Fannie Masemola;
National Head of DPCI Dr/Adv Lt General Godfrey Lebeya Deputy National Commissioners;
Provincial Commissioners and Divisional Commissioners; Acting Secretary of Police; Mr Ramaru
Senior SAPS Officers; Heads of Entities;
All Heads of Department; Members of the Media
The crime figures we are releasing today reflect crime reported to the South African Police Service in the first three months of 2022.
These quarterly figures are used as a management tool to guide the operational plans of the SAPS.
The statistics are not just only to quantify crime, or create debate in society.
The figures also serve as a call of action for government, business, NGOs, civil society and communities to come on board in the fight against crime.
Ladies and Gentlemen, the first three months of 2022 have unfortunately been marred by more murders, more sexual violence, and more assaults, compared to the same time period in the previous year.
All in all these statistics don’t give us a good picture.
Yes, the statistics you will see today show increased levels in contact crimes, these are cases where victims are targets of violence.
The first three months of this year were violent, brutal and unsafe for many South Africans.
While we know and appreciate that the current socio-economy has directly impacted on crime levels.
Police have also had their hands full, following the Safer Festive season operations to ensure the festive season was safer and more secure.
The festive season interventions included heightened police patrols and operations, especially in areas where crime was likely to occur.
The festive season was safer, but not the same can be said about the first three months of the year 2022.
The triple challenges of poverty, inequality and unemployment, increasingly encouraged opportunistic criminal behavior.
However, police have made some gains and intercepted greedy criminal syndicates involved in extortion, kidnapping and cash-In-transit heists and drugs smuggling.
Unfortunately, their collective actions have not yielded the expected results.
Women and children
January February and March of 2022 was especially brutal for women and children of this country.
Murder, attempted murder and assault GBH of women all recorded double-digit increases.
Murder and assault GBH of children under the age of 17 years, also recorded sharp increases.
However, the number of attempted murder cases of children has declined by 6.8%.
Ladies and Gentlemen
In the three months of reporting, a 22.2% increase in murder was recorded.
1 107 more people were killed in South Africa between January and March compared to the same period in 2021.
Out of the 6 083 people killed in the country, 898 of them were women and 306 where children under the age of 17 years.
Alarmingly, the murder of children recorded a 37.2% increase in the period of reporting.
Causes of murder
Arguments, vigilantism, revenge or retaliation and robberies remain the top four causative factors of these deaths.
A total of 2 268 people were murdered in public places such as an open fields, streets, parking areas and abandoned buildings.
The second most likely place for murder to occur is at the home of the victim or of the perpetrator.
1 350 people were killed in that environment.
Liquor outlets and public transport such as busses, taxis or trains, were the third and fourth most likely places to be killed in South Africa.
Overall crimes committed against a person also known as Contact Crimes, increased by 15.0 %
All Sexual offences recorded a 13.7% increase with contact sexual offences recording the only decrease in this crime category.
The first three months of this year, 10 818 people were raped in South Africa.
Almost half of the cases, a staggering 4 653 rapes took place at the home of the rape victim or the home of the rapist.
Public parks, beaches, streets, open fields, parking areas and abandoned buildings were the second most likely places for rapes to occur.
Liquor was involved in 1 290 of the rapes.
The Eastern Cape’s Lusikisiki Police Station, Inanda Station in KwaZulu-Natal and Delft Police Station in the Western Cape recorded the highest incidents of rape for this quarter.
Property related crimes
All Property Related crimes increased by 0.1% and burglary at non-residential premises declined by 6.4%
Assault GBH figures have shown drastic increases, with over six thousand (6 575) more cases reported during this reporting period.
42 992 cases of assault GBH and 45 746 cases of common assault were opened with the police in the three months of reporting.
Out of the 42 992 cases of assault GBH, 1 937 where children under 17 years.
Arguments, road rage, intervention in a fight and robberies were some of the leading causes of the assault GBH.
3 306 kidnaping cases were opened with the police.
This crime trend has shown a sharp increase with over 1 700 more cases reported to the police compared to the same comparative period.
Most of the kidnapping cases were highjacking, robbery and rape-related.
The top three police stations with the highest reported kidnapping cases were Kempton Park, Heidelberg stations in Gauteng province and Delmas police station in Mpumalanga.
The Gauteng province accounts for the bulk of the kidnapping cases, recording over a thousand more cases in the period of reporting.
What went wrong
Ladies and Gentlemen, 2022 started on a low safety note.
But the question is WHAT WENT WRONG?
I have asked the management of the SAPS and the Provincial Commissioners of all nine provinces the exact same question.
Honestly, no answer justified these dismal figures but we all agreed, that all Provinces, Districts, Clusters and Stations need to do things differently if indeed we want to see desired outcomes.
The ‘difference’ we speak of, starts with minor to major changes.
This includes improved working conditions of officers: Ensure the availability of the required tools of the trade to respond to crime and rooting out officers who choose to intentionally fail the communities they are meant to serve.
One thing is for sure, police alone cannot win the fight against crime.
We need deeper partnerships with communities built on trust, commitment, and delivery.
It is on this score that this Ministry will continue to lend support to you and your management team to aggressively restore the trust deficit that has broken down some in community relationships.
After all, police officers cannot police communities they are not part of.
But equally, we are aware that trust is not bought, TRUST is EARNED!
Commissioner, improved service from the police WILL earn back the trust and confidence of the community.
In other words, creating safer communities through effective community policing, is a matter of urgency.
50% of solutions to crime are through better working relations with the community.
Members of the Media,
The SAPS can no longer afford to pay lip service but MUST introduce accountability at stations if we are to truly serve and protect this nation.
This is why immediate interventions have now been put in place to address the dip in performance.
Allow me to expand on some immediate interventions agreed on between the Police Ministry and SAPS management.
We have adopted a police station policing approach.
This means accountability will start from the bottom (at stations) and escalate right up to the very top.
Commissioner, The Station Accountability Plan will fully work, if ALL station Commanders are empowered and supported through your management.
The Station Accountability Plan rests on Station Commanders.
As Commanders, you are expected to:
Know your staff!
Know the welfare of your members!
Take charge of your police station, keep track of your tools of the trade and maintain an overall healthy working environment. Lead, be firm and be committed to serving and your members, an they will follow suit.
Build and restore relations between organized community structures and the broader society you serve and your members.
It is a fact that the SAPS has thousands of hard-working and dedicated officers who on a daily, put their lives at risk in the execution of their duties.
Unfortunately, there are police officers that are failing communities.
The failure often starts at police stations;
This is why the Station Accountability Plan will ensure Community Service Centers are not scenes of secondary victimization by our own.
As the Ministry, we are encouraged that GBV Desks are now available at 1 154 police stations countrywide.
These Desks are staffed with members trained in GBVF-related courses.
Over 90 thousand police officers have been trained in Victim Empowerment, Domestic Violence and Sexual Offences related programs.
This will ensure a victim-centered service is provided by officers at police stations.
We expect the immediate implementation of the Station Accountability Plan especially at TOP 30 high crime stations. This sharp focus on stations will mean all station commanders will be expected to closely monitor their unique crime situations.
Every two weeks, commanders must evaluate and put in place relevant operational plans to curb crime.
Station Commanders must have in place monitoring mechanisms to ring the alarm in time.
Senior officers from National, deployed to TOP 30 high crimes stations as part of the “Police Station Guardian” program must be enhanced.
Clear targets of crime reduction and eradication within timeframes must be met.
As crime usually increases over the weekend, commanders must change their approach and must work through out weekends.
Police personnel should be saturating the streets over the weekends, as this is high noon of crime.
There will be expeditious processes, if and when the set targets are not achieved.
This Station Accountability Plan means it will not be tolerated for police stations to keep occupying the same spots as high crime stations.
There simply can’t be stations that don’t perform and it is business as usual.
This stops here and NOW!
If we are serious about rebuilding community relations, Commissioner, we MUST clean house!
Vetting and monitoring of members has to be speedily undertaken.
Crime Intelligence must be beefed up at station level for effective crime fighting.
The SAPS cannot be a haven for criminals disguised as officers of the law. Such behavior puts policing on the back foot and further erodes the trust between communities and police.
We call on the IPID to work with us on this one and deal with police officers, who fail the organization and ultimately the fail the nation.
We are also calling on the management of the SAPS to take the welfare and safety of all members on board.
Tools of trade
Service delivery in the context of this organization can mean the difference between life and death.
Interactions with communities on their safety concerns and policing needs, through the Ministerial Imbizo program, continues to assist the SAPS in improving its services to communities.
These Izimbizo aim to put in place immediate and efficient improvement mechanisms to deal with service delivery bottlenecks.
Without fail, the complaint about the slow response of police comes up far too often.
This was the case when we engaged the community of Jabulani, Pimville and Kilptown, in Soweto, the same complaint arose in Lusikisiki in the Eastern Cape and Botshabelo in the Free State in the most recent weeks.
It is the lived experience of community members who are far too often told there are no police vans to come and attend to their policing needs.
The police vans are usually out of action and waiting in long queues at garages to be maintained or fixed.
To mitigate this, the process of repairing SAPS vehicles is being overhauled.
Indeed these sweeping changes I have outlined will improve service delivery, improve response times and go a long way towards building safer communities.
These are a few efforts, if implemented well, should restore confidence in the police service, among our communities.
These interventions, including the Station accountability Plan
should yield results in the quickest possible time.
Sergeants, Constables, Warrant officers, Captains, Colonels, Brigadiers, Generals, you ALL have to change our mental approach in confronting this dire crime situation.
You all MUST say such high crime figures, cannot happen under my watch.
Take ownership and pride in your work.
It is our collective responsibility to pull up our socks and work smarter and harder to protect South Africans and their property.
Station Commanders, the focus is now on you and your station's performance.
Always remember…Police need the community and the community need the police - iphoyisa, iphoyisa ngomphakathi.
Work closely with Community Policing Forums and adopt a strategy that promotes community-centered policing.
Everyone has a job to do, do it and do it well.
With those words, let me hand over to Major
General Thulare Sekhukhune who will give a Presentation which will reflect an overview of the 2021/2022 Quarter four crime statistics.
I thank you.
All Contact Crimes decreased by 15.0%
Assault to do grievous bodily harm
Robbery with aggravating circumstances
All Sexual Offences increased by 13.7%
Attempted Sexual Offences
Contact Sexual Offences
Robbery at Residential Premises
Robbery at Non-Residential Premises
Robbery of Cash-In-Transit
4 counts higher
Contact-Related Crimes increased by 15.5%
Malicious damage to property
All Property-Related Crimes increased 0.1%
Burglary at non-residential premises
Burglary at residential premises
Theft of motor vehicle and motorcycle
Theft out or from motor vehicle