By Kate Lorimer MPL, DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Community Safety:
The crime statistics for the period March 2014 to March 2015 were released today by Police Minister Nathi Nhleko and Police Commissioner Riah Phiyega.
It is important to note that these statistics are therefore between 6 and 18 months out of date.
Gauteng does not emerge as a province that is winning the fight against crime. Rather, the statistics show that residents of Gauteng are under an increasing daily threat from criminals.
In all but five of the 27 categories of crime statistics reported, Gauteng leads all of South Africa with the highest number of crimes reported.
The exceptions are murder where Gauteng has the second highest number, the illegal possession of firearms (second highest), drug related crimes (second highest), sexual offences as a result of police action (third highest) and stock theft.
On average, 1746 crimes are committed in Gauteng per day.
The province’s murder rate has jumped by 10,4% to a total of 3671 incidents. This means that in Gauteng, an average of 10 people are murdered per day, 365 days per year.
On average, attempted murder occurs 11 times a day, 365 days per year.
Approximately 144 people a day are grievously assaulted, 365 days a year.
In total, there are on average 458 people in Gauteng, every day, who are directly affected by crimes against their person.
The province’s people are not safe either at home or at work as they are endangered by an increased number of robberies at both.
Together there are around 40 incidents per day, every day of the year. (Robberies indicate incidents where victims are personally involved in the crime, burglaries occur when there is no victim directly involved.)
The lives of the province’s residents are affected by 427 property related crimes every day – which include burglary at residential and non-residential premises – resulting in 227 incidents a day.
Residential burglary has reduced by nearly 3% but this cannot be considered a success due to the high total of 66 172 incidents reported.
The level of dissatisfaction of Gauteng residents is extremely high as is evidenced by the 604 public disorder incidents.
Drug related incidents which are referred to as “crimes detected as a result of police action” have dropped to 70 264 incidents a year or 192 incidents a day. This however may purely be due to a reduction in police activity and not to an actual reduction in this type of crime.
It is important to note that a reduction in statistics does not necessarily reflect a reduction in that category of crime, but may point to a reduction in reporting.
This is backed up by the latest National Victims of Crime Survey (NCVS) released in December 2014, which refers to lower numbers of people reporting sexual offences and assault.
Gauteng is a province at war.
Violent crime is on the increase and the SAPS needs to put defined strategies in place to deal with the problem. We need specialised units to deal with drugs, gangs and gangsterism, hijacking syndicates, and illegal mining.
The time for talk is over and the time for decisive action is here.
Without effective leadership in the SAPS, the criminals will win.