Cape Town – Police had made a dent in cases of farm murders, acting national commissioner Khomotso Phahlane said on Friday.The police were presenting crime statistics, from April to December 2016, in Parliament, where they detailed decreases in contact crimes and sexual assaults.Asked about the implementation of the rural safety programme, Phahlane said they were making commendable progress in decreasing crimes committed on farms and smallholdings.In 2015/16, there were about 457 incidents of crime, and 50 people were murdered on farms in that same year. But in the 2016/17 financial year, there were only 307 incidents, he said."You will note that there is a decrease. And 46 people, which is less than the last year. Although we are still in the last month of the 2016/17 year," he said.The decrease, however, pointed to progress being made in tackling the problem, Phahlane said.From July to September, on farms and smallholdings, there were 14 attempted murders and 69 attempted house robberies.'We are not going to celebrate'There were no rapes or car thefts on farms during that period, he said.There were three incidents of malicious damage to property.From October to December, there were 27 attempted murders, 73 attempted house robberies, eight attempted rapes, 16 car hijackings, 10 common assaults, and one incident of malicious damage to property."We are not going to celebrate and say the rural safety strategy is working... but there is work that we are doing with communities to make a dent in that particular regard," he said.Police were not currently winning the fight against stock theft, it was revealed in the crime statistics.Norman Sekhukhune, SA Police Service Head of Crime Research and Statistics, said there had been a 2% increase in stock theft between April and December 2016, in comparison to the year before.KwaZulu-Natal was the largest contributor to stock theft in the country, with 5 362 reported incidents, although the province recorded a 2.8% decreaseThe Eastern Cape, Mpumalanga, North West, Free State and Gauteng all reported an increase in stock theft.