An overview of the 2008/09 financial year crime statistics report for North West province as presented to provincial stakeholders by North West MEC for Public Safety, Mr HD Yawa, MPL, Mmabatho Civic Centre
16 Oct 2009
Chairperson and members of the Portfolio Committee on Public Safety
Representatives of the House of Traditional leaders
Members of mayoral committees responsible for public safety
Head of the Department, Obakeng Mongale
Provincial Commissioner, Lesetja Beetha
Representatives of the business sector, church organisations, faith based organisations, labour, youth and women organisations, farmers, non-governmental organisations
Members of community policing forums
Members of the media
Ladies and gentlemen
In 2004, Cabinet set the target for reduction of contact crimes by between seven to 10 percent annually. This call was reiterated by the Honourable President Jacob Zuma during the state of the nation address delivered on 3 June 2009. This is a national target which is also applicable to all the provinces. There are six serious crime categories that will be discussed.
1. Contact crimes
The contact crimes are: murder, attempted murder, and assault to do grievous bodily harm, assault common, and robbery with aggravating circumstances, common robbery and sexual offences.
It must be noted that the Sexual Offences and Related Matters Act 32 of 2007 was implemented as from 17 December 2007. The statistics for sexual offences must be read with circumspection as the new act makes provision for new offences, for example: men can also be raped and the penetration of a range of body orifices are now grouped under sexual offences. This is the reason why sexual offences are excluded in this presentation from the category contact crimes.
For the financial year 2008/09 in comparison with the previous financial year 2007/08 the province succeeded to decrease the category contact crimes with one percent. The increases or decreases for the specific crimes are as follows:
* Murder: up by two percent
* Robbery with aggravating circumstances: up by eight percent
* Assault to do grievous bodily harm: none
* Attempted murder: down by two percent
* Common assault: down by two percent
* Common robbery: down by one percent
2. Contact related crimes
Arson and malicious damage to property are considered as contact related crimes. These crimes either flow from individual or collective behaviour:
* Malicious damage to property: none
* Arson: down by nine percent
3. Property related crimes
These crimes are:
* Burglary, residential (including attempts): up by five percent
* Burglary, business (including attempts): up by 13 percent
* Theft out or from motor vehicles (including attempts): up by three percent
* Stock theft: up by 12 percent
* Theft of motor vehicles or cycles (including attempts): down by seven percent
4. Crimes heavily dependent on police action for detection
These crimes are normally not reported to the police but are successes depending on police action and detection. An increase is viewed as positive police action.
These crimes are:
* Illegal possession of firearms and ammunition: up by two percent
* Drug related crimes: up by five percent.
* Driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs: down by eight percent.
5. Other serious crimes
Theft other, this is theft that is not associated with the other thefts within the different categories, fraud and shoplifting.
These crimes are:
* Fraud: up by 64 percent
* Shoplifting: up by seven percent
* Theft other: down by one percent
6. Sub categories of aggravated robbery
These crimes are included under robbery aggravating, but indicated separately for measuring purposes.
These crimes are:
* Bank robbery: up by eight percent
* House robbery: up by 20 percent
* Business robbery: up by 40 percent
* Car hijacking: down by one percent
* Truck hijacking: down by 17 percent
* Robbery of cash in transit: down by 70 percent
It must be noted that many of the business robberies are the so called informal business which are also owned by foreigners, who keep their money with them in the shops. The criminals then target these businesses for the money.
7. Sexual offences
As mentioned above, sexual offences are indicated separately and it increased with nine percent.
8. Trio crimes
Trio crimes are serious and violent crimes such as house robbery, business robbery and car hijacking.
* Carjacking is reduced by one percent, the province is number two compared to other provinces, while Western Cape reduced by 24.4 percent
* House robbery or robbery at residential premises did increase by 20.2 percent, but still compare to other provinces this province is number two. Number one is Gauteng with an increase of 11 percent.
* Robbery at non-residential premises (business robbery) increase by 39.6 percent, the province compared to other provinces is number three, while Gauteng is number one and KwaZulu-Natal in the second place.
9. Crime trends since 2004
Since 2004 and 2005 to 2008 and 2009 the total contact crime category was decreased with 28.4 percent.
Even though contact crimes have been reduced by one percent, I want to remind you that we should reduce it between seven to 10 percent. Property related crimes category has increased by six percent and we should reduce it by three percent. With regard to trio crimes we should work harder because this category instils fear in our communities as we are aware of where the hotspots are.
Having seen crime trend in five years I want to reiterate the call of our President Jacob Zuma and our Premier to pull up our sleeves in the fight against crime particularly that our province is hosting 2010 in Rustenburg as the host city.
Strategic focus area for interventions
* Effective visible policing by South African Police Services (SAPS) through interventions such as; Operation Festive which has commenced from 1 October 2009
* Effective social crime prevention by SAPS through 16 Days of activism
Then in 1996, government adopted the national crime prevention strategy (NCPS). The strategy provided a framework for a multi-dimensional approach to crime prevention. Amongst other things, the strategy provided a means by which government departments should integrate their approaches to problems of crime control and crime prevention.
In keeping with the approach outlined in the national crime prevention strategy, I am convinced that effective and efficient law enforcement and the provision of social crime prevention programs to reduce the occurrence of crime, coordinated at local government level will reduce the fear of contact and trio crimes.
The multi disciplinary approach coordinated by local government through structures such as community safety forum whereby all role players from justice, crime prevention and security cluster, community police forums, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), civil society, Business Against Crime should implement social crime prevention strategies such as street committees, neighbourhood watch, community patrols, campaigns of destroying markets for stolen goods, installing closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras and working in partnership with security companies will make us achieve our goals.
The work of fighting crime is becoming more complex and, therefore, more challenging. Criminals are becoming more organised and more sophisticated, it means that the work of fighting crime cannot only be left in the hands of the police, but it should be the responsibility of every one of us therefore I call upon you to become more organised and more sophisticated against criminals and take back our streets.
It is particularly a local level that the war against crime has to be won hence we value the involvement of all sections of our communities in determining appropriate interventions and support required for us to break the backbone of criminality.
As I handover to the police management to take us through the detailed presentation and hotspots that need all of our collective effort for us to win the war against crime, I wish to emphasise that the only people who should live in fear are the criminals because we’ll be taking the war to them for them to forever be on the back foot.
Ke a leboga.
Issued by: Department of Public Safety, North West Provincial Government
16 October 2009
Source: Department of Public Safety, North West Provincial Government (http://www.nwpg.gov.za/public_safety/PSdefault.html)
Issued by: North West Provincial Government
16 Oct 2009
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