SAPS says there are more than 17 000 pending sexual offence cases

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The police say there were 3 856 registered criminal cases of domestic violence between April 1 and July 31 and, of these 348 were backlog cases. In the same period 1 762 domestic violence cases were finalised. Photo: Roger Sedres/Gallo Images
The police say there were 3 856 registered criminal cases of domestic violence between April 1 and July 31 and, of these 348 were backlog cases. In the same period 1 762 domestic violence cases were finalised. Photo: Roger Sedres/Gallo Images

NEWS


The South African Police Service (SAPS) on Thursday told Parliament that there were 17 566 pending sexual offences cases between April 1 to October 31 2022. Of these, 6397 were backlog cases.

The SAPS revealed during a presentation to multi-party women’s caucus meeting in Parliament.

The police were briefing the caucus on the latest SAPS progress report on the national strategic plan on gender-based violence and femicide.

Lieutenant General Tebello Mosikili said the SAPS was asked by the caucus to provide a progress report on the implementation of measures to promote the safety of survivors and the reporting of cases violence against women and girls to enhance successful prosecutions.

READ: Sexual misconduct rife in SA schools

According to Mosikili, 20 834 DNA tests for sex crimes were finalised and a 75.1% conviction rate had been achieved as of June 30. She said there were 3 856 registered criminal cases of domestic violence between April 1 and July 31 and, of these 348 were backlog cases. In the same period 1 762 domestic violence cases were finalised.

The backlog of cases was as a result of both systematic deficiencies and various criminal justice system actors. One of the limitations was the constant breaking of the sexual offences system (SOS). As of August 31, 79 of the 398 SOS systems were dysfunctional.

Mosikili said the SAPS had developed a criminal backlog action plan which prioritised cases of violence against women and girls.

She said:

The department has also created an app indictor to monitor the management of case backlog case.

READ: Gender-based violence is costing SA billions of rands

Mosikili said the SAPS had established a desk to deal with such violence at all police stations by March 31 in order to improve the handling of the reports related to such cases.

The desk was an engagement platform at the police station level for victims and their families so that the necessary support was given, she said.

This was not necessarily a physical desk, but services that were rendered by a dedicated team to ensure that violence-related matters were dealt with appropriately at police stations without secondary victimisation.

READ: Powa calls for improvements after release of crime stats

“The SAPS and relevant stakeholders will continue to work in a multi-disciplinary and integrated approach to address incidents of violence against women and girls in support of the victims."


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