The release of the annual crime statistics for 2018/2019 today is serious cause for alarm as it paints a bleak picture of chaos in the country’s frontline law enforcement agency, which is losing the battle against crime. Of particular concern is the murder rate which is the highest it has been in 10 years, with an average of 57.5 people being murdered a day in South Africa, and a murder rate which has increased by 3.4%.
The police are also losing the battle against gender-based violence, total sexual offences increased by 4.6% with the sub-category of sexual assault increasing by 9.6%.
These crime statistics are an indictment on SAPS and clearly indicates that the police and ANC government are unable to keep our communities safe. These blood-chilling statistics and the victims behind the numbers pour cold water on President Cyril Ramaphosa’s promise to halve violent crime in the next 10 years.
Given poor resource allocation, corruption, poor training, a collapsed intelligence division, and a lack of leadership, it is difficult to believe that SAPS and the ANC government have what it takes to restore order and keep communities safe.
Minister Bheki Cele and President Ramaphosa must take full, personal responsibility for these horrific crime trends as these crime statistics are up until the end of March 2019. This means that they presided over the full 12 months of these horrific acts of violence and crime which terrorised our nation.
All efforts to attract investment, create jobs and build a working and inclusive economy, will be done in vain if we cannot control the unacceptable levels of crime which affects all communities and businesses.
Other shocking statistics revealed today include:
- An average of 113.9 rapes are reported a day, reflecting an increase in 3.9%
- Murder and sexual offences against children have both increases by 2.9% and 3.8% respectively
- Children make up 46.5% of all reported sexual assault in South Africa
- 69.8% of all sexual offences committed are against women
- Drug related crimes detected as a result of police action has declined by 28.1%
- Possession of firearms and ammunition detected by police has decreased by 10.4%
- The average for total crime detected as a result of police action has declined by 21.8%
- Weekend murders contribute to over 60% of all murders
These statistics will only contribute to citizens losing faith in our criminal justice system, making them feel unsafe in their homes and communities. Extreme and immediate action needs to be taken in order to start keeping our citizens safe.
SAPS needs a complete overhaul to root out corruption and incompetence in order to restore trust in the police.
Only an honest and professional police service will keep our communities safe from violent crime. Any police officer found guilty of corruption must get 15 years in jail, and we need to retrain the honest police officers we do have. Police need to display extreme professionalism in dealing with victims of crime and we need higher police visibility in crime ridden areas.
Andrew Whitfield MP
DA Shadow Minister of Police
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