#CrimeStats: More questions than answers

The Democratic Alliance  (DA) will urgently write to the Minister of Police, Bheki Cele to provide clarity on several problematic and confusing aspects of the annual crime statistics for 2019/2020.

The crime stats once again indicate that South African Police Service (SAPS) is losing the battle against most major crimes. The murder rate is, again, the highest it has been in 10 years, with an average of 58.4 murders per day in South Africa. Sexual offences increased by 1.7%, with sexual assault increasing by 4.2%. On average, 115.8 people are raped in South Africa every day. Contact crimes also increased by 0.7%.

National Commissioner, General Khehla Sitole, also confirmed that incidents on farms increased from 41 to 46 and murders from 47 to 49. The DA welcomes the inclusion of farm attacks in the crime statistics but calls on SAPS to accelerate the full implementation of the rural safety strategy.

The overall number of rapes increased by 1.7% to 42 289 cases, but rapes against women and children decreased by 15.8% to 25 801 cases. These figures appear to indicate that 16 488 rape cases were against men.

Does this mean that rape against men therefore accounts for almost 40% of all rapes?

More worryingly, during the presentation SAPS indicated these rape figures against women and children are “not yet completed” and are “preliminary”.

It raises serious questions about our fight against sexual crimes such as rape.

Similarly, sexual assault increased by 4.2%, whilst sexual assault against women and children decreased by 7.7%.

Minister Cele must account for these discrepancies and whether SAPS is using the stats to play political games in trying to paint a rosy picture with regards to gender-based violence.

These crime statistics are an indictment on SAPS and specifically the Minister who is more worried about alcohol and cigarettes than violent criminals.

It is clear that the ANC government is failing to keep our communities safe.

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