CRIME SITUATION IN SOUTH AFRICA FOR THE 2006-2007 FIN YEAR

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CRIME SITUATION IN SOUTH AFRICA FOR THE 2006-2007 FIN YEAR

Postby GOSA » Fri, 2007-07-27 16:14

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

CRIME SITUATION IN SOUTH AFRICA FOR THE 2006-2007 FINANCIAL YEAR.

In this report the crime statistics for 2006/2007 are discussed and compared to those recorded during the preceding financial years. The crime trends and subtrends, particularly in relation to contact crime (crimes against the person), are elucidated on the basis of docket, geographical and timeline analysis.

If crime figures for 2006/2007 are compared to those recorded during 2005/2006, the following transpires:

- Six of the eight contact crimes, namely rape, attempted murder, assault GBH, common assault, indecent assault and common robbery, decreased by between -8,7% (common assault) and -3,0% (attempted murder). The decreases in these crimes in order of significance are as follows:



Common assault -8,7%

Common robbery -5,8%

Indecent assault -5,5%

Rape -5,2%

Assault GBH -4,9%

Attempted murder -3,0%



An overall decreases of -3,4% in the incidence of contact crime was recorded during the period under review.



- Two of the eight contact crimes, namely aggravated robbery and murder, increased by 4,6% and 2,4% respectively. The marginal increase of 2,4% in the incidence of murder - and the smaller decrease in the reported number of attempted murders (-3,0%) compared to the previous two financial years (2004/2005 and 2005/2006) in particular - can be explained in terms of the 4,6% increase in aggravated robbery. In more then 70,0% of aggravated robberies, firearms are used (this is basically almost a trademark of aggravated robberies). Whenever perpetrators, victims or bystanders shoot at one another during an aggravated robbery, attempted murders will be registered.

Detailed docket, geographical and timeline analyses of the contact crimes (in section 2.1.5 and 2.1.5.2 of the report in particular) confirm that at least two thirds of all contact crime cases are strongly linked to specific social behaviour patterns which inter alia involve alcohol and other substance abuse and are mainly associated with informal settlements in megatownships.

These crimes usually also occur among people knowing one another (varying between 59,4% for attempted murders and 89,1% for assaults GBH). A further calculation indicates that social contact crime accounts for at least two thirds of all contact crime, while approximately 15% of contact crimes are generated by aggravated robbery.



In this report aggravated robbery is disaggregated into subcategories. These are as follows:



Street/public robbery 72,7%

Carjacking 10,7%

Robbery at residential premises 10,1%

Robbery at business premises 5,3%

Truckjacking 0,7%

CIT robbery 0,4%

Bank robbery 0,1%



Almost three quarters (72,7%) of all aggravated robberies are street/public robberies. These occur mainly in CBD areas and the black megatownships (e.g. Tembisa, Mamelodi East, Khayelitsha, KwaMashu and Umlazi) where ordinary people are robbed of their money or other valuables at gun or knifepoint. By far the majority of these incidents are therefore not high-profile cases involving well-known people and are rarely reported in the media.

Carjacking and robbery at residential premises, which account for just more than one out of five aggravated robberies, increased by 6,0% and 25,4% respectively. The carjackings and house robberies most frequently occur in the more affluent suburbs of Gauteng such as Sandton, Honeydew, Douglasdale, Brooklyn and Garsfontein. Extreme violence resulting in severe injuries or fatalities is only employed in a small proportion of these carjacking and house robbery cases. However, extreme violence does occasionally occur because the crimes are usually committed at places where it is less likely for bystanders or eyewitnesses to intervene; firearms are more likely to be involved; the robbers want specific items (frequently the key to a safe or a car); and the perpetrators may be disposed to use threats or violence to obtain their aim. The victims may also react in ways that could trigger violence. Because the crimes frequently occur in more well-to-do areas, the chances of somebody well-known being targeted and even killed are much higher. Such incidents feature on the front pages and in the headlines of the media and reverberate around the world. Such focused and selective reporting on less than 5,0% of South Africa's contact crime, read together with the contact crime statistics, consequently creates an international image of South Africa as an extremely violent society.

South Africa compares quite favourably with the rest of the INTERPOL member countries with regard to the incidence of property-related and all the other remaining categories of serious crime. Most of the contact-related, property-related and other serious crimes indeed experienced decreases. Reductions were recorded in the incidence of malicious damage to property (-1,7%); burglary at residential premises
(-5,9%); theft out of or from motor vehicles (-11,8%); all theft not mentioned elsewhere (-5,1%); stock-theft (-0,8%); and theft of motor vehicles (-0,7%). Commercial crime increased by 12,6%; burglary at business premises by 6,3%; and shoplifting by a marginal 0,5%.

Crimes heavily dependent on police action for detection all increased significantly, even against the backdrop of the marked increases recorded over the past two - three years. This clearly indicates that the SAPS and other policing agencies are doing their utmost to combat these crimes, which are also strong generators of other crime. Drug-related crime, illegal possession of firearms and ammunition and driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs increased by 8,2%, 5,6% and 14,3% respectively.



In sections 4 - 6 of the report acts of violence against the farming community, escapes from police custody and attacks on and murders of members of the SAPS are discussed. Between 2005/2006 and 2006/2007 the following trends were observed with regard to these phenomena:



- Incidents of violence against the farming community increased by 24,8%. Murders of farm dwellers decreased by 2,3% (from 88 to 86).

- The number of escapes from police custody decreased by -18,3% and the number of escapees involved by -26,2%.

- The number of murdered police members increased by 13,7% (from 95 in 2005/2006 to 108 in 2006/2007).
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GOSA
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