Contact crimes down

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Pretoria - The levels of "contact crimes" in South Africa have decreased by 6.9%, Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa said on Thursday.

There was a decrease in all the provinces, except for the North West and Western Cape. 

According to Mthethwa, all seven categories of contact crime with reference to murder, attempted murder, sexual offences and assault with serious grievous bodily harm, common assault, aggravated robbery and common robbery, recorded a decline.

Murder was down by 6.5% and sexual offences by 3.1%. Assault with intent to inflict grievous bodily harm dropped by 4.5%, while robbery with aggravating circumstances was down by 12%.

The figures were drawn from April 2010 to March 2011.

Mthethwa said although they have recorded a decrease, the stats were still worrying.

"Contact crime is an area of crime which by its nature leads to serious feelings of fear and insecurity, because it is this form of crime [with] which violence is normally associated."

He said it seemed people have not taken the "don't drink and drive" motto seriously, as there had been an increase in drunken driving cases. They were up by 3.5%. In the 2009/10 year, it was up by 10.6%.

Mthethwa said it was the duty of all South Africans to abide by the rules of the road. 

"We all have a duty to ensure that our roads are safe and those who break the law will be severely punished."

There was also an increase in drug related crimes as they increased by 10.2%. Mthethwa said they will be intensifying their approaches by mounting operations that are aimed at cracking the backbones of drug-lord syndicates instead of focusing and arresting people.

He said they will also be working with their sister departments, such as education and social development, in addressing the challenge and affected children.

"We also acknowledge that dealing with drugs is a global challenge that needs to be coordinated with our international counterparts," he said.

Although the stats showed a general decrease in all crimes, Mthethwa said the fight is not over, adding that it is just a motivating factor for their efforts.

"Victory against crime is now an achievable goal. However, for as long as young children are still under bondage of crime and drugs, for as long as businesses are robbed, for as long as women are abused and raped, for as long as South Africans are mugged and hijacked -- none of us must rest." - BuaNews