Crime Stats: Murder up, sexual offences down – As it happened

2015-09-29 13:30

National Police Commissioner Riah Phiyega has released the official crime statistics for the past financial year, which included a 4.6% increase in murders, and a 5.4% decrease in reported sexual offences.


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Last Updated at 13:54
29 Sep 13:42

With that, the Portfolio Committee has called the meeting closed.

29 Sep 13:23

“I have been asked this question about the release of stats on a quarterly basis before. There is a cabinet position on the issue taken some time ago. There is a discussion somewhere at the level of government in one corner saying shouldn't we do this and how does this impact on planning processes?

“There is a view that says: maybe for better alignment and planning purposes, we need to review how often to release stats.”

29 Sep 13:22
The DA responds to the breaking down of some of the statistics by province, including the high murder rate in the Western Cape.

29 Sep 13:20
Nhleko: “The police's work is not complete yet.”

29 Sep 13:16

29 Sep 13:08

“Indeed, the point I want to make though is that yourselves as responsible political leadership, you have got to be activated around such an issue and that is why we need to be balanced in the manner in which you deal with criticism levelled against the police service.

“These are professions. We can't, as political leaders, dish out negative messages that then says to ordinary people on the ground that we don't take police seriously and they are of no value. Because then they are likely to relate in that way to police. We need to make a political intervention.”

29 Sep 13:05

“There were cases where some of these were sporadic and uncoordinated.

“Others are coordinated and linked to the numbers gangs.”

29 Sep 13:03

Police Minister Nathi Nhleko now addressing police attacks.

“It is a very concerning development, the question of police attacks. The police are the extension of society. The police are us, ourselves. If society kills police, we are killing ourselves. It is most backward.”

29 Sep 12:59

On Gangsterism...

“We have been learning a lot from the Western Cape. They are assisting us with gang language.”

29 Sep 12:58

“The police act does allow us to set up units. From time to time, when you see serious, complex crimes, I am assured the minister would not hesitate to pronounce a unit.

“There is the Hawks, the stock theft unit. It is an available mechanism for us.”

29 Sep 12:56

Phiyega now addressing the issue of reliability of the stats.

“Stats SA also has a mandate to co-ordinate statistical production. We are subjected to certain protocols.”

29 Sep 12:55
National Police Commissioner Riah Phiyega is now speaking again:

29 Sep 12:50

“In the same way, that Ms Kohler-Barnard, we don't know that her husband is going to murder her. I am just making an example.

“When we say it is something that happens in close-linked families and societies, it makes the problem a social issue that requires largely advocacy.

"We need to teach people that the fact that I disagree with you does not mean I can punch you in the face. We must gain skills to resolve our differences. It starts with such small things.”

29 Sep 12:48

“The lesson we should learn regarding sexual violence - it is not the type of crime you can detect. It is a crime we react to as it is reported.

“Nhleko, there is this thinking that murder can only be solved by police and it can't be. It can never be. It is impossible.”

29 Sep 12:46

“You spoke about your housebreaking in Acacia Park and you said it was reported as damage to state property," continues Nhleko in response to MP Groenewald's question.

"Of course that is state property. But I think the point you are trying to raise that the case was only dubbed damage to property and perhaps should have included housebreaking. That is a matter of suggestion.

“So it goes also with your assertion that crime is not under control. That is simply a statement and yet the stats put before you, over 10 and 5 year periods, there has been a decrease. And that is not speculated.

“I think for me we need to try and strike a balance. We can only work on the basis of what is here for us.”

29 Sep 12:44

“Of course, you get the other category (16.6%), where police have got to go out themselves and detect crimes.

“If you then say you doubt stats, by how much do you doubt your stats? Can you rely on just your own crime experience Mr Groenewald and then decide the fate of the entire spectrum of crime stats in the country?

“I am not saying I am condoning your own case where you weren't given a case number. But you can't use that and solely that to decide the fate of the whole thing. I think that is wrong."

29 Sep 12:43

Nhleko now addressing the issue of the reliability of stats

“The Saps is constitutionally mandated to deal with the issue of peace, stability and crime and everything else. You don't have other institutions given this mandate.

“Of course, we utilise a particular system. 83% of people walk into police stations, they don't come to Mr Groenewald's house, because there is no reason to do so. You can only work on the stats on the basis of what has been brought to your attention.”

29 Sep 12:41

Back to Nhleko:

“The other loophole is a systemic issue - much as the law talks to capping or threshold of the number of firearms, there is no system that you went into Groenewald shooting shop, you went in and bought some rounds. And then next door, you go to another shop and buy stuff. There is no system to track that. As much as the law prescribes certain things, you can go around the law.”

29 Sep 12:34

R10.8bn flows out of SA illegally

A total of R10.8bn was illegally transferred out of South Africa during the past year, according to national police commissioner general Riah Phiyega.

Commercial crime overall was 11.6% down to 67 830 cases in the 2014/15 year from 76 744 from the year before.

29 Sep 12:30

Police Minister Nathi Nhleko now gives his answers: “Some questions are quite critical and useful in our work.

“Responding to honourable chair on resource deployment and shifting. I think members of the committee would remember that when we dealt with the issue of what has to happen post Farlam Commission recommendations, we highlighted the fact that we need to zoom into 3 broad categories.

“How to deal with people as resources, the culture and business processes.”

29 Sep 12:26

Back to questions:

DA's Dianne Kohler-Barnard says: “My investigations reveal many dockets are simply closed, while families still believe the police are looking for rapists or killers. Are those dockets shut and archived, then removed from crime stats?

“Secondly, most worrying is the murder rate. We are basically back to where we were in 2000. 15 years and billions of rands later, we are back there. But according to the mortuary, their figures of bodies are 1000 higher than the police. Babies dumped and unwanted are not registered as murder dockets but as inquests. No one is held accountable for killing the baby. So there were over a 1000 of those in Gauteng.

"I am actually then questioning this number you have given for murders. I would expect this murder figure from a country of war.

29 Sep 12:22

Meanwhile, back to the stats...

Instances of house robberies increased by 997 in 2014/15 compared with the previous year - an increase of 5.2% - according to the crime statistics released on Tuesday.

29 Sep 12:16

DA MP Zak Mbhele: “Over the past couple of years, there has been an immovable resistance in the Saps to anti-gang units. I have to ask that given indications of efficacy of specialised approach, why is the Saps seemingly not willing to try these avenues of specialised units, rather than task teams.

“Task teams have impact, but as soon as they’re disbanded, they lose institutional memories and skills.”

29 Sep 12:12

Pieter Groenewald of the FF Plus – “The supermoon should be the bloody moon. Even if Stats SA are brought into auditing system, do you think these are a true reflection of SA society?

“Because police are not reporting these crimes correctly at stations.

“We must not mislead ourselves that if we have small decreases, that crime is under control. Crime in SA is not under control.”

29 Sep 12:11

Chair Francois Beukman to minister - "We have seen increase in serious and contact crimes. Can we expect from task team the immediate shifting of resources to those provinces that struggle with contact crime and serious crime? Is the task team also going to look at deficiencies?"

Questions from other members - "What efforts are made to ensure crimes are captured correctly at police stations? How reliable are the stats? What might be the problem that leads to increases in most crimes?"

29 Sep 12:07
We now turn to questions from the Parliamentary committee:

29 Sep 12:05

“All levels of government must ensure early intervention to mitigate issues relating to service delivery before it escalates.

“The brazen nature of criminals in our society results in significant numbers of police murders. This not only impacts on Saps establishment, but also in a significant loss of investment in terms of skill and experience.

“Crimes against women and children remain a priority. We have a good story to tell as our various efforts are beginning to pay dividends.

“When all is said and done, crime stats are not only about numbers and performance of the police but a mirror reflection of the society at large. We are all hands on deck and continue to work hard.”

29 Sep 12:04
Carrying on with her conclusion, she says part of the solution is revisiting and strengthening the firearms control act, which is being done by the ministry of police.

29 Sep 12:02

“Municipalities and provinces should standardise the liquor act. Liquor trading and consumption are significant drivers of perpetration of contact crimes," says Phiyega.

“It should also enforce bylaws etc. We argue that moral regeneration programmes are crucial.”

29 Sep 11:53
Crimes most feared by the community:

29 Sep 11:50

Overall performance of provinces in terms of serious contact crimes... on the top end is Free State and the bottom end is Limpopo.

Phiyega says contact crimes remain stubborn in this financial year.

“It should be noted that contact crime are policed after the fact.

“Furthermore, reflecting on an increase in the degree of violence, is evidence that there is a broad normalisation of violence in communities. The quantity of media coverage may also play a part with copy-cats.”

29 Sep 11:44


Instances of murder have increased by 4.6% over the last financial year, with 782 more cases reported, according to the newly-released crime statistics.

29 Sep 11:35

Sexual offences detected as a result of police action

There were 1 620 more sexual offences detected as a result of police action in 2014/15 compared with the previous year - an increase of 34.4% - according to the crime statistics released on Tuesday.

This brought the number up from 4 720 in 2013/14 to 6 340 in the current period.

29 Sep 11:33

“A very large proportion of contact crimes involve those known to each other and frequently linked to arguments,” says Phiyega.

Perpetrators are largely young males and are unemployed. Some cases are related to domestic violence. A lot happens within private homes where it is difficult to police.

“This is an area we need to look at and track,” says Phiyega.

29 Sep 11:31

Phiyega: “It is notable that in particular, these contact crimes are concentrated in certain parts of the province and even precincts.

“These contact crimes tend to occur frequently over the weekends and mostly over dark hours, when people tend to socialise and go about social activities.

“A seasonal spark is usual also evidenced, over the festive season and holidays.”

29 Sep 11:29

Community-reported serious crime

“These continue to decline over 10-year period,” declares Phiyega.

“From a high of 2 million charges in 2005/2006 to 1.79 million charges in this 2014/15 period.

“We are grateful overall that the trend is still going down.

Contact crimes reported by the community: 750 397 charges in 2005/2006 to 616 973 in 2014/15.

They have, however, increases in the current year.

29 Sep 11:27


In the fight against drugs, we have confiscated 440 269 288kgs of dagga, 1 926 256kgs of nyaope, - 304, 865kg of whoonga, 598 743kg of tik.

“If you look at this, you realise drug use is increasing in our communities. 57 clandestine drug labs were dismantled, of which 31 were hydroponic and 26 were synthetic chemical labs.”

29 Sep 11:25
"We are not letting our foot off the pedal in terms of police criminality and have arrested 686 officers for this past year alone."

29 Sep 11:24

Key Operational successes:

Police arrested 1.7 million people through crime prevention.

“We recovered 36 186 reported lost/robbed vehicles,” says Phiyega.

29 Sep 11:23

Now to broad increases or decreases:

Contact crime (against a person) decreased by 17.9% over 10 years but there was a slight increase of 0.9% for this past financial year.

Contact-related crimes (against property) decreased by 15.6% over 10 years but there was a slight increase of 1.9% for this year.

Property-related crime decreased by 2.3% over the last 10 years and decreased by 0.8% for this year.

Other serious crimes decreased by 8.1% in last 10 years and decreased by 2.2% in this past year.

29 Sep 11:17

Time it takes to get to a police station from victims’ perspective:

66% of victims get to a station in less than 30 minutes.

29 Sep 11:16

Crimes most feared by communities

Crimes most feared by the community according to Stats SA are housebreaking/burglary, followed by home robbery and street robbery.

29 Sep 11:14

Unrest and peaceful-related incidents

“There have been 12 451 peaceful protests for this year in review and 2 289 violent protests for this year.

“These are major contributors to crime - malicious damage to property for instance,” says Phieyga.

This is up from the last period 11 601 peaceful and 1907 violent protests.

29 Sep 11:12

Police attacks and murders

There were 1537 attacks on police this year and 86 murders.

“This is a very serious concern in terms of investment of training and experience. We write off a lot, but we are working hard. The Western Cape is having the most attacks (645 attacks and 21 murders), we rely on provinces to help tackle this. KZN shows 326 attacks and 11 murders," says Phieyga.

"In Gauteng for this period, 132 officers were attacked and 19 were killed."

29 Sep 11:09

Meanwhile, back to the official stats...

Robbery with aggravating circumstances has also increased significantly by 8.5%.

There were 118 963 reported cases in the last financial year, which has risen to 129 045 for the financial year 2014/15.

29 Sep 11:07

Phiyega is now talking about the concentration of crime and the distribution of foreign nationals around the country.

“When you look at the stats performances of Limpopo, Gauteng, Mpumalanga and partly Western Cape and KZN, you understand the pressures on policing.

“The Saps crime intelligence has tracked foreign nationals from 13 countries that have contributed to various types of crimes.”

Those countries are: Nigeria, Zimbwabwe, Mozambique, Somali, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Ethopia, Basotho, DRC Congo, Tanzania, Bulgaria, Malawi, and China.

29 Sep 11:02

Drug Circulation

“The drug master plan is not fully implemented and more needs to be done for coordination and securing of commitment by departments,” says Phiyega.

There has been a constant upsurge in confiscations, manufacturing factories and imports, Phiyega continues.

“SA has graduated to a manufacturer, consumer and transit state and has no impactful and integrated strategy across the [drug] value chain.”

From 2014 to date we have 237 South Africans arrested elsewhere as drug mules. Interpol reported about 300 drug couriers enroute to SA.

29 Sep 10:57

Back to Parliament, Riah Phiyega is still addressing police methodology:

With regards to Taxi Violence: Drivers for crime - Route disputes, licenses, leadership contestations, BRT/IRT issues, control of new ranks in newly developed commercial precincts, inadequate by law enforcement by municipalities.

“We feel those type of issues are not areas we are primarily responsible for. Something could be done around optimising regulatory framework because we may then find crimes related will be reduced.”

29 Sep 10:52

One of the standout stats indicates that carjackings have gone up by a significant 14.2%

Cases reported in the last financial year were 11 180, and has gone up to 12 773 this financial year.

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