THE SOUTH African Police Service (SAPS) recently released the annual crime statistics for the period between April 2018 and March 2019.On a national level, contact crimes (which include murder, sexual offences, attempted murder, assault with the intent to inflict grievous bodily harm, common assault, common robbery, and robbery with aggravating circumstances) saw an increase of 2,6% (a case difference of 15 844). Within that category, sexual offences increased by 4,6% (a case difference of 2 312). Nationally, carjacking dropped by 1,8% (299 cases less than last year) while robbery at residential premises increased by 0,8% (170 more cases). Closer to home, contact crimes in KwaZulu-Natal increased by 2,7% (a case difference of 2 591); sexual offences increased by 6,3% (a case difference of 549); carjacking increased by 2,4% (66 more cases); and robbery at residential premises increased by 0,2% (eight more cases than last year).Speaking on these statistics, SAPS said: “Police have noticed an increase in crime. We are pleading with the community to be more vigilant.” SAPS further urges the community to report all cases, as it gives them an indication of the areas where they need to focus and increase their patrols. “We analyse all the crime trends. Most cases are not reported, as people don’t want to ‘waste their time’, unless they have insurance. “By not reporting cases we won’t have the correct analysis of the crimes being committed. “Reporting of all cases will give the correct indication of what we are dealing with. It also helps to increase our station budget, resources and manpower.“Be vigilant and continuously alert — we all need to have situational awareness. It’s the small things; like checking your mirrors while driving to see if you are being followed; watching for movement in bushes and shrubs at your entrance; being aware of suspicious, slow-moving vehicles with tinted windows; and streetlights not working etc. “Working together, we all can make a difference in decreasing our crime rate,” said the SAPS.