110 cops killed in 2009/10
Pretoria – One hundred and ten police officers had lost their lives between April 2009 and April 2010, Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa said in Pretoria on Thursday.
He also said the country's murder rate has showed its largest decline since 1995, falling below 17 000 for the past year.
"This is a significant achievement. Of all crimes, this is one category that you cannot cheat," he said as the country's national crime statistics for the year ended March 31 were released in Pretoria.
There were 16 894 South Africans murdered in the year ended March 31, which represented an 8.6% decline over the previous year.
In the year ended March 2009 there were 18 148 murders.
The South African Police Force's crime statistician, Commissioner Chris de Kok said that research had shown that most murders involved people who knew each other, such as spouses. A considerable number involved alcohol consumption. Attempted murders dropped by 6.1%.
Sexual crimes fell 4.4% to 68 332 cases and resulted in 26 311 arrests.
De Kok said that sexual crimes now included rape of men and pornography, so the original classifications of rape and indecent assault might show decreases.
There were 64 670 people robbed during the same period, which was a drop of 10.4% over the previous year.
De Kok said that this had occurred as a result of increased police visibility, but the criminals had adapted and as a result house robberies and business robberies had increased.
There was a 1.9% increase in burglaries, and a 4.4% increase in business robberies.
De Kok said the increases had slowed and that most of the business robberies were small businesses such as spaza shops and informal traders.
Sandton police station reported the highest number of house robberies, followed by Honeydew, Midrand, Wierdabrug and Inanda in KwaZulu-Natal.
There were 13 902 reported car hijackings during the year ended March 2010, which represented a 6.8% decline on the previous year.
Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal were the worst affected with 7 444 and 3 715 cases respectively. Both provinces had shown decreases on the previous year of 2.8% and 8.5% respectively.
Other decrease were seen in cash-in-transit heists, 7.3% down, with 52 arrests, and bank robberies, which decreased by 8.8%.
Mthethwa said it was critical to remove corrupt police officers from the police. He said the overall drop in several crime categories was "satisfactory", but more needed to be done.