Gauteng remains hijacking, house robbery capital

2012-09-20 14:06

The Gauteng province has retained its reputation as the car hijacking and house robbery capital of South Africa despite a massive decrease in these cases between April 2011 and March this year, while KwaZulu-Natal also retained its highest murder rate from last year.

There were 5 000 car hijackings last year in Gauteng compared with 5 936 the previous year, followed by KZN which recorded 2 229 car hijackings (2 619 in 2010/’11).

The latest crime statistics are a mixed bag of increases and decreases in various categories of crime.

The number of sexual assault cases was also the highest in Gauteng at 12 419 last year compared to 13 987 in 2011, followed by KZN with 12 288 cases reported, down from 12 793 cases (2010/’11).

KwaZulu-Natal also recorded the highest number of murder cases at 3 422 this year, down from 3 749 last year, followed by the Eastern Cape with 3 278 murder cases – an increase from 3 187 last year.

The overall murder rate decreased by 3.1% this year, from 15 940 to 15 609 murders countrywide.

Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa said there was a 27.6% reduction in the murder rate over the past eight years when the number of murders was 19 824.

Mthethwa attributed the spate of murders on drug and alcohol abuse.

“Research conducted by Crime Research and Statistics of the SAPS indicated that approximately 65% of murders started off as assaults resulting from interpersonal arguments which were often further stimulated by alcohol and drug abuse,” said Mthethwa.

He admitted sexual crimes were the most difficult form of crime to police and that it became more difficult to detect or investigate when victims seldom reported the crime.

“To a large extent we do admit that this is one challenging category for police to police. It is also influenced by reporting behaviour.

“If victims trust the police, then you will get more reporting. So the issue of under-reporting remains a challenge and not just in South Africa but internationally,” said Mthethwa.

Both Gauteng and KZN also trumped other provinces with the highest number of attempted murder cases, with KZN recording 3 666 cases this year, down from 3 915 in 2011.

Gauteng recorded 3 474 cases – a decrease from 4 104 the previous year.

Despite an overall decrease in house robberies of 1.9%, there were 7 039 house robberies in Gauteng, a decrease from 6 336, followed by KZN with 3 751 cases reported compared with 3 998 cases in 2010/’2011.

Mthethwa said police visibility had proved an effective tool to dissuade house and business robberies, particularly at night.

“Our operational analysis at police station level confirmed that police visibility at night times, right places and employing right tactics, could decrease trio crimes (carjacking, house robberies and business robberies) significantly, especially business robberies.

“The seriousness with which government views crimes against business requires a comprehensive and holistic strategy to ensure that the phenomenon is addressed in all its dimensions.

“We need to implement a shared vision, a collective and integrated approach, business involvement and participation and improved crime-prevention,” said Mthethwa.

Read: 10 things worth knowing about the crime stats

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