Although the crime statistics released today indicates that contact crimes had only increased by 0,9%, people should not be misled by this, Dr. Pieter Groenewald, the FF Plus’ chief spokesperson on Police says.
He said the group contact crimes comprises 17 different kinds of crimes, but if serious violent crimes are specifically considered such as murder, attempted murder, various forms of robberies and assault, there was an increase.
Murder increased by 9,6% in the past two years and by 4,6% in the past year. That translates into 17 805 people being murdered in the past year, which is a murder every 30 minutes.
According to Dr. Groenewald, the biggest concern is robberies with aggravating circumstances which increased by 8,5% in the last year and by 21,3% in the past two years.
Robberies at residential properties increased by 5,2%. That means that where people should feel safe, they are being exposed to violent crime. It is also one of the crimes most feared by South Africans.
The crime showing the biggest increase was truck hijacking which increased by 29,1% and ordinary car hijackings which increased by 14,2%. In both instances peoples’ lives are also threatened.
This increase in violent crime indicates that South Africa is increasingly becoming a violent country, Dr. Groenewald said.
He said that the credibility of the statistics is also suspect and the fact that Statistics South Africa was part of the process, does not make it any more credible.
“The problem lies at station level where crime is reported. Many people complain that after crime has been reported, a week later there is no record of it at the police station.
“It is also questionable whether crimes are correctly classified. I personally reported a robbery at the Parliamentary residential area, Acacia Park, which was later classified as ‘damage to state property’.
The fact that communities are increasingly taking law into their own hands and necklace suspects with tyres, is proof that crime is getting out of control and that the public does not have any faith in the Police to effectively combat crime.
“The FF Plus asks that crime statistics are released quarterly, so that preventative action can be taken timeously,” Dr. Groenewald said.
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