Sep 11, 2018The 2017/2018 Annual Crime Statistics as presented by the Minister of Police, Bheki Cele, in Parliament on Tuesday, paints a concerning picture of a continuous rise in contact crime in our country, the African National Congress (ANC) said.”While we appreciate the South African Police Service’s (SAPS) continued efforts to fight crime, the upward trajectory in the murder rate which has increased by 6.9% is a matter of grave concern,” said Nonceba Mhlauli, Spokesperson in the Office of the ANC Parliamentary Chief Whip, Jackson Mthembu.”This translates to a shocking 57 people being murdered every day. The report reflects firearms (41%) and knives (31%) as the key instruments used to commit murder.”This demands firmer regulation in the acquisition of firearms and other harmful instruments. We must also intensify our fight against the possession of illegal firearms in our country.”Mhlauli added that gender-based violence continues to be on a worrying increase.”The statistics reflect an alarming 8.2% increase in cases of sexual assault and a 0.5% increase in rape cases. We must therefore implement alternative policing measures were sexual assault cases are concerned. In this regard, we welcome the Minister’s undertaking to establish a separate unit to deal with such cases,” he said. “Provinces with the highest population in the country such as Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Eastern Cape and Western Cape continue to be the most unsafe provinces.”While the populations of these provinces have been on the increase, the police-to-population ratio has declined. We therefore welcome the Minister’s commitment to increase the training of new police officers to address this challenge.”Mhlauli said that the ANC further welcomes the decrease in crimes such as common robbery by 5% and assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm (Assault GBH) by 1.9%.”Robbery with aggravating circumstances decreased by 1.8%. The crime statistics also show that our police service remains alert in the detection of crime. Crime detected as a result of police action increased by 11.3%. We commend the men and women in blue for these positive strides they have made in ensuring they push back the frontiers of crime in this regard,” he described.”Our fight against crime requires action by all South Africans. The role of communities in crime-fighting cannot be overemphasized because stolen and hijacked goods are often traded in our communities. As communities, we must ensure that crimes are reported and that necessary assistance is provided in order for SAPS to carry out their work.”Crime fighting remains one of the ANC’s top priorities. Efforts and creative interventions must be intensified and consolidated to escalate our battle against crime.”Mhlauli said that ANC commends the thousands of members of our police service, who despite the risks and challenges associated in policing, continue to serve with commitment to protect our people and building safer communities.Access the full 2017/2018 Crime stats here.