These crimes are worse than ever in South Africa
The South African Police Service (SAPS) has presented the country’s latest crime statistics, covering the first quarter of the 2022/23 financial year, April to June 2022.
Presenting the stats on Friday (19 August) police minister Bheki Cele noted that the crime stats for April to June 2022 are being compared to the same period in 2021 when the country was still in lockdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The minister highlighted successes by the SAPS in reducing crimes in key categories, including sexual offences, common assault and assault with the intent to inflict grievous bodily harm.
“The first quarter of 2022/2023 financial year shows decreases in total sexual offences such as rape, sexual assault, attempted sexual offences and contact sexual offences. It is on this that score the SAPS will continue to prioritize gender-based violence-related crimes,” he said.
Between April and June this year, 286 rapists were convicted through investigative work done by the SAPS, the minister said, and out of the 286 rape convictions, 46 of the rapists were sentenced to life behind bars.
“While the majority of rapes do take place behind closed doors and are hard to police, we are confident that it is through the FCS detective work that is preventing more rapes, hence the decrease in rape cases during the reporting period.”
However, despite these successes, the number of murders in the country remains worrisome, he said.
As many as 6,424 people were murdered in South Africa in the first quarter of the 2022/2023 financial year – an increase of 664 (+12%) from the same period last year, when the country was placed under Covid-19 Lockdown level one and two.
Other notable increases include carjacking – up 14% year on year – and a significant jump in cash-in-transit heists – up over 30%.
Overall, 13 crime categories are worse year on year, the stats show, while 10 others improved. The data also shows increased police activity, which has resulted in more crimes being detected as a result of police action.
Of the 13 crimes that are worse than last year, five are at their worst levels seen in this quarter over the last five years. These are:
- Attempted murder
- Robbery at residential premises
- Commercial crime
The tables below outline the key statistics.
SA crime stats: Q1 2021/22 vs Q1 2022/23
|2021/22 vs 2022/23||Apr-Jun 2021||Apr-Jun 2022||Change|
|Contact Crimes||145 120||142 915||-1.5%|
|Contact-related Crimes||27 304||27 261||-0.2%|
|Property-related Crimes||91 604||91 319||-0.3%|
|Other Serious Crimes||95 367||102 078||+7.0%|
|Total public reported||359 395||363 513||+1.1%|
|Crime detected as a result of police action||47 187||54 222||+14.9%|
|Total||406 582||417 735||+2.7%|
- Contact crimes include murder, attempted murder and sexual offences, as well as common assault and robbery.
- Contact-related crimes include arson and malicious injury to property.
- Other serious crimes include commercial crime, shop-lifting, and other types of theft – while aggravated robbery includes hijackings, robbery at residences, and cash-in-transit heists and bank robberies.
- Crimes detected as a result of police action cover crimes discovered by active policing, such as roadblocks and raids. This category covers the illegal possession of firearms, DUI or driving under the influence (of drugs or alcohol), and the use, possession or trade of illegal drugs.
Biggest increases in crime categories for 1Q22/23
|Category||Apr-Jun 2021||Apr-Jun 2022||Change|
|Robbery of cash in transit||46||60||+30.4%|
|Carjacking||5 146||5 866||+14.0%|
|Murder||5 760||6 424||+11.5%|
|All theft not mentioned elsewhere||60 056||65 636||+9.3%|
|Attempted murder||5 145||5 576||+8.4%|
|Commercial crime||24 030||25 250||+5.1%|
|Robbery with aggravating circumstances||33 876||35 233||+4.0%|
|Robbery at non-residential premises||5 255||5 281||+0.5%|
|Burglary at residential premises||39 477||39 638||+0.4%|
|Robbery at residential premises||5 346||5 370||+0.4%|
|Burglary at non-residential premises||14 627||14 677||+0.3%|
|Malicious damage to property||26 326||26 375||+0.2%|
|Shoplifting||11 281||11 132||-0.3%|
|Theft out of or from motor vehicle||21 310||21 213||-0.5%|
|Theft of motor vehicle and motorcycle||9 433||9 335||-1.0%|
|Common robbery||10 701||10 565||-1.3%|
|Common assault||39 406||38 627||-2.0%|
|Stock-theft||6 757||6 456||-4.5%|
|Sexual Offences||12 702||11 855||-6.7%|
|Assault with the intent to inflict grievous bodily harm||37 530||34 635||-7.7%|
|Bank robbery||1||0||– 1 case|
Crime detected as a result of police action
|Category||Jan-Mar 2021||Jan-Mar 2022||Change|
|Sexual offences discovered as a result of police action||1 428||1 897||+32.8%|
|Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs||10 964||12 942||+18.0%|
|Illegal possession of firearms and ammunition||3 147||3 597||+14.3%|
|Drug-related crime||31 648||35 786||+13.1%|