South Africa: Less Crime in General Than 10 Years Ago, but More Murders

Photo: Capital FM
15 September 2019

South Africa has less crime than it did 10 years ago, but had more murders in the past financial year than it did in the 2009/2010 financial year.

On Thursday, the police released the crime statistics for the 2018/2019 financial year, or from April 1, 2018, to March 31, 2019.

Included in the data are the statistics for the past 10 years.

While most crime rates increased over the past year, the most recent statistics compare favourably with that of 10 years ago - especially if one keeps in mind that the population has grown over the decade.

In the 2009/2010 financial year, there were 669 928 total contact crimes recorded, compared to 2018/2019's total figure of 617 210 . These crimes include murder, sexual offences, attempted murder, assault with intent to inflict grievous bodily harm, common assault, common robbery and robbery with aggravating circumstances.

The figure dropped in the three following years to 608 724 in 2012/2013. But that year proved to be a turning point, as it has increased each year since.

However, there were more murders in the past year than 10 years ago. In 2009/2010, 16 767 murders were recorded, compared to the 21 022 of 2018/2019.

In the contact crimes category, the only other sub-category that has gone up in 10 years is robbery with aggravating circumstances. In 2009/10, the number was 113 200 , while in 2018/2019 it was 140 032 .

In 2009/2010 there were 66 992 sexual offences recorded, compared to 52 420 in 2018/2019.

There were 547 753 cases of property-related crime reported in 2009/2010, compared to 495 161 in 2018/2019.

These crimes include burglaries at residential and non-residential premises, stock theft, theft of motor vehicles and motorcycles and theft out of motor vehicles.

Drug-related crime showed a pretty big increase over the past 10 years. In 2009/2010, 134 687 offences were recorded, compared to 232 657 in 2018/2019.


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