Diamond Fields Advertiser - - NEWS - PATSY BEANGSTROM NEWS EDITOR

WHILE the rest of South Africa bor­ders on a “war zone”, most cat­e­gories of crime in the North­ern Cape – in­clud­ing mur­der, at­tempted mur­der and rape – are down from last year.

This is ac­cord­ing to the 2017/18 crime statis­tics pre­sented yes­ter­day by the Min­istry of Po­lice to the Port­fo­lio Com­mit­tee on Po­lice in Par­lia­ment.

Crimes in the Prov­ince re­ported to be down in the pe­riod from April 2017 to March 2018 in­clude:

Mur­der – from 344 cases re­ported in 2016/17 to 340 cases (-1.2%) Sex­ual of­fences – from 1 587 to 1 538 (-3.1%) At­tempted mur­der – from 550 to 480 (-12.7%)

As­sault with in­tent to in­flict griev­ous bod­ily harm –

8 889 to 8 173 (-5.5%)

Com­mon as­sault –

4 440 to 4 375 (-1.5%)

Com­mon rob­bery –

1 506 to 1 285 (-14.7%)

Rape – 1 143 to 1 100 (-3.8%) At­tempted sex­ual of­fences – 154 to 130 (-15.6%)

Rob­bery at non-res­i­den­tial premises – 304 to 299 (-1.6%) Ma­li­cious dam­age to prop­erty – 2 954 to 2 927 (-0.9%)

Bur­glary at non-res­i­den­tial premises –

2 403 to 2 172 (-9.6%)

Bur­glary at res­i­den­tial premises –

6 518 to 6 228 (-4.4%) Theft out of or from mo­tor ve­hi­cles –

2 911 to 2 609 (-10.4%) Com­mer­cial crime –

1 108 to 1097 (-1%)

Shoplift­ing –

1 407 to 1 309 (-7%)

There were, how­ever, cat­e­gories where the crime statis­tics in­creased over the past year in the North­ern Cape. These in­clude: Rob­bery with ag­gra­vat­ing cir­cum­stances –

1 505 to 1 639 (8.9%)

Sex­ual as­sault –

235 to 245 (4.3%)

Contact sex­ual of­fences –

55 to 63 (14.5%)

Car­jack­ing – 29 to 37 (27.6%) Rob­bery at res­i­den­tial premises – 142 to 159 (12%) Rob­bery of cash in tran­sit – 0 to 1 (one case higher)

Bank rob­bery – 0

Truck hi­jack­ing – 0 to 3

(three cases higher)

Ar­son – 149 to 156 (4.7%)

Theft of mo­tor ve­hi­cles and mo­tor­cy­cles – 219 to 233 (6.4%) Stock theft –

1 356 to 1 558 (14.9%)

Crimes that saw North­ern Cape po­lice sta­tions listed in the Top 30 list of shame in the coun­try in­cluded com­mu­nity re­ported se­ri­ous crimes, where Kim­ber­ley was listed as num­ber 30.

A to­tal of 6 378 com­mu­nity re­ported se­ri­ous crimes were re­ported in Kim­ber­ley, although this was down by 9.2% in com­par­i­son with the pre­vi­ous year when 7 025 se­ri­ous crimes were re­ported.

Kim­ber­ley was also listed as 15th in the coun­try for com­mon rob­bery, with 363 cases re­ported in the city (down from 526 in the pre­vi­ous year).

Galeshewe was listed as one of the Top 30 po­lice sta­tions for as­sault GBH. A to­tal of 645 (down from 683) in­ci­dents of as­sault GBH were re­ported at the po­lice sta­tion.

Four po­lice sta­tions in the North­ern Cape were among the Top 30 for at­tempted sex­ual of­fences, Moth­ibis­tad was listed as num­ber 8 with 13 in­ci­dents re­ported, Galeshewe num­ber 10 with 12 in­ci­dents, Kag­isho as num­ber 22 with 10 in­ci­dents and Kim­ber­ley 23, also with 10 in­ci­dents.

Sex­ual of­fences

Kim­ber­ley and Galeshewe also re­ported among the coun­try’s most sex­ual of­fences cases, both with eight cases.

The Kim­ber­ley po­lice sta­tion was also listed as num­ber 28 for theft out of or from mo­tor ve­hi­cles and mo­tor­cy­cles, with a to­tal of 870 in­ci­dents re­ported at the lo­cal po­lice sta­tion. This was, how­ever, 15.9% lower than the pre­vi­ous year when 1 035 cases were re­ported.

Of the 344 mur­ders re­ported in the Prov­ince, mean­while, a to­tal of 57 were women while 19 were chil­dren (five girls and 14 boys). This was 22.4% of the to­tal num­ber of mur­ders re­ported.

One mul­ti­ple mur­der, with two vic­tims, was also re­ported in the North­ern Cape.

While the Prov­ince did not have any gang-re­lated mur­ders, any taxi-re­lated mur­ders, any mur­ders from il­licit mining, any mur­ders of po­lice of­fi­cials or any in­ci­dents of mob jus­tice, there were three farm mur­ders dur­ing the pe­riod un­der re­view.

Knives mean­while were the pre­ferred weapon of choice when it came to at­tempted mur­der, with 63 in­ci­dents re­ported where firearms were used and 177 were knives were the weapon of choice.

Also of in­ter­est in the statis­tics re­leased was the mas­sive in­crease in the num­ber of un­rest cases. This jumped from 84 in the 2016/17 year to 129 in the 2017/18 year, an in­crease of 56.9%. This was the largest per­cent­age in­crease in the coun­try.

The num­ber of peace­ful protests mean­while came down slightly from 501 to 499 in­ci­dents re­ported.

Crime de­tected as a re­sult of po­lice action also in­creased from 6 084 in­ci­dents to 6 494, an in­crease of 6.8%. How­ever, sex­ual of­fences de­tected as a re­sult of po­lice action dropped by 65.3% from 49 cases to 17.

Drug-re­lated crime in the North­ern Cape has mean­while jumped by 8.3% in the last year from a to­tal of 5 136 in­ci­dents to 5 563.

Driv­ing un­der the in­flu­ence of al­co­hol and/or drugs in­creased by 1.9% from 797 in­ci­dents to 812.

Ac­cord­ing to Po­lice Min­is­ter Bheki Cele, 57 peo­ple are mur­dered in South Africa ev­ery day.

“The crime stats of this fi­nan­cial year – 2017/18 – are noth­ing to write home about, ab­so­lutely noth­ing to write home about. I think our em­pha­sis should be on what is to be done rather than the crime stats, which don’t give any joy,” Cele said.

“The ex­am­ple I have all the time when I talk about these stats, it doesn’t mat­ter what fig­ures you give. But if you can­not deal with or con­trol mur­der cases, you are not bring­ing any joy to the South African peo­ple.

“It doesn’t mat­ter what else you re­duce, but if peo­ple die and it looks like … 57 per day. That’s how many South Africans are mur­dered, 57 a day. It bor­ders close to a war zone.”

A to­tal of 20 336 mur­ders were re­ported dur­ing the pe­riod un­der re­view, which rep­re­sents a 6.9% in­crease over­all when com­pared to the pre­vi­ous year.

“I im­me­di­ately say the South African Po­lice Ser­vice dropped the ball for such fig­ures to hap­pen. I want to put it here that an­swer we must give is what is to be done be­cause I have said to the mem­bers of the SAPS that never again we come here again to give such statis­tics or worse than this. It can’t be that South Africans are put un­der such stress and such fear,” Cele said.

He said that while po­lice need to do more to bring the mur­der rate down, it can­not be left to the po­lice alone to ar­rest the sit­u­a­tion.

Po­lice Com­mit­tee Chair Fran­cois Beuk­man has also stated that the 6.9% in­crease in the mur­der rate is “alarm­ing and un­ac­cept­able”.

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