Police Minister Bheki Cele praised the work of law enforcement during the first months of the lockdown, announcing the level 5 and 4 restrictions as a “best time for South Africa”. Not for the first time, the remarks of the top policeman seem a little muffled facing the difficulties caused by COVID. But in the context of criminal statistics, he is right.
Crime statistics for lockdown released – and Bheki Cele is happy
A total of 23 major crimes of the 24 “predicate offenses” have seen a significant decline, with a handful of 50% or more from the same period last year. Although Bheki Cele acknowledged the exceptional circumstances behind the delay, he still sang about our so-called “crime vacation”.
“These statistics show significant declines in all crime categories compared to the same comparative period last year. Indeed, the statistics we will release today paint a never-before-seen picture of the “dew” of a peaceful South Africa experiencing “criminal vacation”. In fact, it was a better time for SA as more lives were saved. ”
“We know that the drop in crime rates was largely influenced by the fact that many of us stayed at home – and it goes without saying that the conditions for crime were not normal. There were also more boots on the ground to ensure high visibility of the police and massive adherence to the Disaster Management Act. ”
How crime statistics were reduced during the lockdown
Thefts of money in transit have been cut in half, while the biggest drop in crimes committed during the lockdown goes to auto theft – which has seen a 53% drop. Routine cases of robbery, assault and rape all fell 40 to 50 percent between early April and late June. Bheki Cele also added that murders fell by 35% and home burglaries by more than 30%.
In a unique set of events, bank robberies fell completely out of the network. There have been no cases to report for three months as stringent lockdowns and restricted opening hours have kept criminals away from the premises. In total, 23 of the 24 crimes recorded in South Africa have seen a sharp drop in levels 5, 4 and 3 of the restrictions.
|criminality||Figures vs Q1 in 2019|
|Sexual offenses||Down 39.7%|
|Attempted murder||Down 23.8%|
|Assault / GBH||Down 41%|
|Common assault||Down 28.2%|
|Ordinary flight||Down 49.8%|
|Robbery with aggravating circumstances||Down 39.5%|
|Sexual assault||Down 35.9%|
|Attempted sexual offenses||Down 40.3%|
|Contact sex offenses||Down 36.2%|
|Car hijacking||Down 41.2%|
|Robbery in residential premises||Down 23.2%|
|Robbery in non-residential premises||Down 34.5%|
|Theft of Cash-In-Transit vans||50% decrease|
|Bank robbery||100% reduction (zero cases)|
|Truck hijacking||30% decrease|
|Contact-related crimes||Down 29.4%|
|Property related crimes||Down 29.1%|
|Burglary in residential premises||Down 30.5%|
|Theft of motor vehicles or motorcycles||53% decrease|