Living in a dang erous world
KZN records most murders with 3 625, or 10 per day
KWAZULUNATAL had a story of hope to tell when the country’s crime statistics were released yesterday, but experts said there were still areas of concern and a new crimefighting approach is needed.
KZN recorded a slight dr op in c ontact crimes, including murder and sexual offences, while these rose nationally.
However, the province still recorded the most murders with 3 625 — equating to almost 10 people killed per da y.
This figur e g ave KZN the f ourthhighest murder rate (34,7 murders per 100 000 people ), behind the E astern Cape (52,1), Western Cape ( 48,3) and Northern Cape (3 7,7).
Limpopo (13,2) had the lowest murder r ate in the c ountry.
The release of statistics compiled by the polic e sho wcased significant dips including a 43% decline in truck hiajcking, and r eductions in car jacking and vehicle theft. Of concern were sharp rises in cashintransit heists and cases of aggravated r obbery.
Gareth Newham, head of the Ins titute f or Securit y Studie s’ governance, crime and jus tice di vision, said the numbers were a stark reminder of how far South Africa still had to go to reduce violence and crime.
“A sec ond c onsecutive y ear of increases in serious violent crime such as murder, attempted murder and ag gravated robbery are of particular concern to all South Africans, ” he said.
“Murder is up b y fi ve per cent with an additional 809 murders. Robbery in creases ar e p articularly c oncerning. Home r obbery is up 7 ,4%, with 1 334 more cases than the previous year. Business robbery is up by 13,7% with 2 238 more attacks, and car hijacking is up by 12,3% with 1 231 more attacks than occurred the pr evious y ear,” he said.
National Institute for Crime Preven tion and the Reintegration of Offenders spokesperson J acques Sibomana said that South Africans eltf unsafe, and positive statistics were cold comfort to victims. “It is not necessary to analyse each individual crime category because that is not how the mind of the public works, South Africans ha ve a general and ag gravated f eeling of being unsaf e.
“They know that they live in a dangerous environment. Whether at work, at play or at home, the y are at risk of becoming a victim of crime at any time and at an y plac e,” he said.
He said a solution t o crime la y in a multifaceted change. “We cannot continue doing the same thing; and change does not onl y lie in la w enf orcement.
“Every government department, corporate and civil society organisation is going to have to play their role in reducing crime. Agencies such as Nicro must be r ecognised and support ed …”
Sibomana said w ork was needed t o prevent crime through addressing early onset beha viours.