The 2018/19 crime statistics, released in Cape Town on Thursday, are grim. Reports of murder and sexual offences increased yet again. On average, there are 57 murders and the police receive 113 reports of rape each day. It's going to take more than just improved policing to turn the situation around.
Releasing the 2018/19 crime statistics in Parliament's portfolio committee on police on Thursday, Minister Bheki Cele began by saying they were "not very rosy". That was an understatement.
The year to 31 March, 2019 saw increases in all contact crimes, including murder, sexual offences, attempted murder, assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, common assault, common robbery and robbery with aggravating circumstances.
Reports of sexual offences saw the highest increase at 4.6% while robbery with aggravating circumstances increased the least, at 1.2%.
Over the last year, 21,002 people were murdered across the country, up by 686 from 2017/18. The most common cause of murder was misunderstandings/arguments, followed by domestic violence and gang-related killings.
Incidents of murder decreased between 2009 and 2012 from 18,084 to 15,554 but have continued to rise in the last six years. Attempted murder increased by 4.1% in 2018/19.
"The reversal of six years is...