Rape and sexual offences drop

Police Minister Bheki Cele released the crime statistics on Friday July 31. Picture Bongani Mbatha /African News Agency (ANA)

While the annual crime statistics showed an increase in rape and sexual offences across the country, in the Southern Mail’s distribution area, there has been a decrease.

Police Minister Bheki Cele released the latest crime statistics on Friday July 31. They show all reported crime in the country from April 1 2019 to March 31 2020.

The stats show increases nationally in murder, rape, assault and robbery.

For the fourth year in a row, rape and other sexual assault cases have risen – 706 more rape cases have been recorded compared to the previous year (from 41 583 to 42 289).

In the Western Cape, there were 4 877 reported rape cases – 4.9% more than last year’s stats.

The country’s murders rose 1.4%, from 21 022 to 21 325 cases.

In the Western Cape, they dropped by one case, from 3 975 to 3 974 cases.

Delft has replaced Nyanga as South Africa’s murder capital.

Delft’s murder cases rose 7.3%, from 247 to 265 cases, while Nyanga dropped 36%, from 289 to 185 cases, to fifth place.

Six Western Cape precincts -Delft, Khayelitsha, Nyanga, Mfuleni, Harare and Gugulethu – are among the country’s top-10 murder hot spots.

Steenberg police reported a drop in sexual assaults from 68 cases in 2018/2019 to 49 cases in 2019/2020 and rape cases from 39 to 28. Grassy Park police also reported a decrease from 108 cases to 82 cases, with rape cases down from 58 to 44.

Muizenberg police’s sexual offences dropped from 78 to 76 cases, with rape cases down from 47 to 43; while Wynberg SAPS’ sexual offences went from 43 to 29 and rape cases from 25 to 20.

Muizenberg police reported 51 murders and Wynberg, four – the same number as last year, while Steenberg police saw a drop from 49 to 43 and Grassy Park had an increase in reported murder cases from 53 to 55.

Business burglaries increased by 23 cases from 136 to 159 in the Wynberg police precinct.

Wynberg SAPS spokesman, Captain Silvino Davids, said the precinct had seen a lot of property-related crimes because there were many businesses in the
area.

“We have a large business area, especially all the shops on the Main Road, and we have one of the biggest interchanges, with the train station and taxi rank being in one area.”

He advised car owners in the Wynberg area to make use of safe and secure parking areas, to avoid leaving valuables in their cars and to avoid street parking in alley ways.

Grassy Park police also saw a spike in business burglaries from 18 cases to 38.

Of this, Grassy Park CPF chairperson Melvin Jonkers said: “This is damaging the economy of Grassy Park.

“Strong action is needed from the police. If anybody spots any of the stolen goods, presumably some household items that wasn’t in your neighbourhood before, please don’t be silent.”

However, Community Safety MEC Albert Fritz pointed out that some of the crime statistics were over a year old, which wasn’t helpful when trying to respond to crime patterns.

He added that under the lockdown, the criminal landscape had changed drastically and therefore the statistics provided were unhelpful.

Meanwhile the Grassy Park Community Police Forum (CPF) has condemned attacks on police following an attack on Grassy Park police officers last week.

On Monday August 3 police were executing a warrant of arrest on a wanted gang member for attempted murder when they were attacked by members of the community. Warning shots were fired by police to ward off the attack.

Mr Jonkers said shootings continued unabated almost on a daily basis in Parkwood.

“These wanton attacks on our police by some community members of Parkwood cannot and will not be condoned,” he said.

“The community wants police to act against the shooters and yet some of these very community members want to protect those alleged shooters.”

He said the CPF however, was grateful for the support of law abiding citizens.

“Those who attack police should be aware, that if and when ,matters gets out of hand, and police have to defend themselves, somebody might get hurt or heaven forbid, even lose a life. The community should rather assist the police in clearing out the shooters from the neighbourhood,”said Mr Jonkers.

Station commander Colonel Dawood Laing also called on the community to help them.

“The community must understand we are there to protect all of them. We cannot allow some suspects to be arrested and some not. When we arrest a suspect it is to ensure that the suspect appears in court,” said Colonel Laing.