Serious crime dropping: Mthethwa

By Drum Digital
20 September 2012

South Africa's murder rate has dropped by 3.1 percent in the past financial year, Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa announced on Thursday.

Releasing the 2011/12 annual crime statistics at Parliament, Mthethwa said in 2004/5 more than 18,000 people were murdered -- now down to less than 16,000.

There had been a 27.6 percent reduction over an eight year period --2004/5 to 2011/12, he said.

Sexual offences had dropped by 3.7 percent.

"We need to emphasise that, as government, we are, however, still concerned about the scourge of rape in our country.

"Rape decreased [by] 1.9 percent, but is [still] unacceptably high," Mthethwa said.

On organised crime, Mthethwa said this category was showing a downward trend.

"The most highly organised forms of aggravated robberies -- namely carjacking, cash-in-transit heists, and bank robbery -- have experienced decreases," he said.

Breaking down the figures, Mthethwa said carjacking decreased by 23.6 percent in 2010/11. A further decrease of 11.9 percent followed in 2011/12.

Cash-in-transit robberies were down by 37.5 percent, and bank robberies by 10.3 percent in 2011/12.

House robberies decrease by 1.9 percent, but business robberies continued to show an upward trend, jumping 7.5 percent.

Mthethwa noted an increase in small business robberies.

"We have now finalised a strategy to combat and reduce robberies at small business... we will be engaging relevant parties to ensure implementation of the strategy within next few weeks," he said.

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