INFOGRAPHICS | Crime stats 2020: What you need to know

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  • The murder figures continued to rise, as did other contact crimes.
  • There are discrepancies in the figures provided for sexual crimes.
  • Property crimes saw a significant decrease.

There was an overall drop in reported crime in the most recently available crime statistics - but violent crime in South Africa, including murders, continued to rise between 1 April 2019 and 31 March 2020.

This was evident according to the crime statistics released by Police Minister Bheki Cele and national police commissioner General Khehla Sitole on Friday.

Murder up 1.4%

During the period, 21 325 murders were recorded, 303 murders more than the previous year - an increase of 1.4%.

In 2010-2011, there were 15 893 murders, meaning the past year had 5 432 more murders than nine years ago.

Between those years, there was one year where the number of murders came down from the year before - 2011-2012 - which had 339 murder less than the year before.

However, Cele and Sitole said they are "flattening the curve" of the murder rate, as there is a trend over the past three years where, while there is an overall increase, the amount at which murders have increased is half the increase of the year before.


crime stats 2020

Most murders in KZN, 49 murders on farms

The province with the most murders was KwaZulu-Natal, with 4 859, followed by Gauteng's 4 555 and the Western Cape's 3 975.

The Western Cape recorded one more murder than the year before, despite the military deployment to curb gang violence in the province.

The Eastern Cape, Free State, Limpopo and North West all recorded a decrease in murder.

In this period, there were 49 murders in 46 incidents on farms and smallholdings, two more than the previous year.

crime stats

In the year under review, 73 police members were killed, 38 while off duty.

Of the 21 325 murders recorded last year, in 1 430 cases the perpetrator was confirmed to be under the influence of alcohol.

While Nyanga police precinct in Cape Town has for long been regarded as South Africa's murder capital, the year under review saw a decrease of 30.6% in the murders, and the precinct is no longer the station with the highest murders; it is the fourth.

Contact crimes

Altogether, contact crimes increased by 0.7% or 4 072 cases in the year under review.

Of these, assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm was the most prevalent, with 166 720 cases and a decrease of 2.5%, and common assault with 165 494, an increase of 2.1%.

crime stats 2020

Robbery with aggravating circumstances increased by 2.8% to 143 990 cases, while the 51 825 cases of common robbery are only 60 more cases than the year before.

Under the sub categories of aggravated robbery, cash in transit robberies recorded a decrease of 10.4% during the period under review.

There were also no bank robberies in South Africa in the period.

However, carjacking and truck hijacking have recorded an increase of 13.3% and 1.7% respectively.

crime stats 2020

Sexual crimes

Sexual crimes showed an increase of 1.7%, to 53 293 cases, 873 more than the year before.

However, there are some discrepancies in these figures, according to Sitole, due to police stations closing because of Covid-19 infections. He undertook to present corrected figures to Parliament at a later stage.

Property crimes

A significant decrease in property-related crimes was recorded, with 5.2% or 25 927 cases less than the year before.

All crimes in this category decreased, including burglary at residential premises, by 6.7%, and residential properties by 5.8%.

Stock theft has recorded a decrease of 4.2%.

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