Crime statistics for 2016 – 2017 released

Crime statistics for 2016/2017 released

Cape Town, Tuesday 24 October 2017: Today the Department of Police, led by the Minister of Police, Mr Fikile Mbalula, released the annual national crime statistics for the 2016/2017 financial year. These statistics reflect on the period 1 April 2016 to 31 March 2017 and were released during a presentation to the Portfolio Committee on Police.

The national crime statistics deal with 21 serious crimes recorded by the South African Police Service (SAPS) and are made up of:

* 17 community-reported serious crimes
* Four crimes detected as a result of police action.

The 17 community-reported crimes are grouped into four broad categories, namely contact crime, contact-related crime, property-related crime and other serious crime.

Contact crime refers to those crimes in which the victims are the targets of violence, or property is targeted and the victims in the vicinity during the commission of the crime are subjected to threats of violence or the use of such violence. The following are regarded as contact crimes:

* Murder
* Sexual offences
* Attempted murder
* Assault with the intent to cause grievous bodily harm (GBH)
* Common assault
* Common robbery
* Robbery with aggravating circumstances.

Contact crime as one of the four broad categories of community-reported crimes decreased by 2.4% in the 2016/2017 financial year.

Contact-related crimes include arson and malicious damage to property. These two crimes are closely related and involve the damage to or the destruction of the property of another (often in order to punish such a person or entity) – or to damage one’s own property for the purpose of insurance claims. The following are regarded as contact-related crimes:

* Arson
* Malicious damage to property.

Contact-related crime as a category of community-reported crimes decreased by 3.3% in the 2016/2017 financial year.

Property-related crime refers to crimes during which tangible property of an individual or institution is taken by criminal elements without permission and in the absence of the owner or custodian of such property. This type of crime includes:

* Burglary at residential premises
* Burglary at non-residential premises
* Theft of motor vehicle and motor cycle
* Theft out of or from motor vehicles
* Stock theft.

Property-related crime as a category of community-reported crimes decreased by 0.5% during the 2016/2017 financial year.

Other serious crime includes all serious crimes not mentioned in the other categories:

* All theft not mentioned elsewhere
* Commercial crime
* Shoplifting.

Other serious crime as a category of community-reported crimes decreased by 2% in the 2016/2017 financial year.

Crimes detected as a result of police action are usually not reported to the police but largely detected as a result of the deployment of law enforcement personnel and the use of intelligence. The crimes are usually recorded after the apprehension of suspects in connection with:

* The illegal possession of firearms and ammunition
* Drug-related crime
* Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
* Sexual offences detected as a result of police action.

An increase of 9.6% in crimes detected as a result of police action was recorded in 2016/2017.

Although the broad categories constituting the 17 community-reported crimes show a decrease, there are individual crime trends which have shown an increase, including the contact crimes of murder, attempted murder and robbery with aggravating circumstance which includes the trio crimes.