South Africa’s violent crime figures slammed as worst for ten years

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Cape Town, South Africa

South Africa’s latest crime statistics have prompted criticism from leading security analysts, who claim they show violent crime is at its worst for a decade.

The Government released its annual national crime statistics last week. While there were decreases seen in many crimes, the figures did show a worrying increase in some of the most violent crimes.

The statistics revealed there was a total of 806,298 serious crime arrests effected in 2012/13, up from 777,140 the previous year, and 352,513 convictions during the period.

However, they showed there was a 0.6 per cent increase in murder during 2012/13, while attempted murder increased by 6.5 per cent during the period. Rates of murder in South Africa have been seen to reduce over the past nine years, but the rise in the last year has raised fears that the police are struggling to win the battle against crime.

The statistics also showed that in 2012/13 there were rises in incidents of violent house robberies (up 3.6 per cent), car-jackings (up 5.4 per cent) and aggravated robbery (up 1.2 per cent).

Gareth Newman, director at The Institute for Security Studies, said violence “remains unacceptably high” and the figures are proof that incidents of violent crime are in the rise in the country.

“Serious and violent crime is increasing in South Africa. This show’s that Government’s approach to crime is not working,” he said.

“After a long period of decreases in serious and violent crime, these are the worst figures we have seen in ten years.

“We have seen increases in murder, attempted murder, car hijacking, street robbery and house robbery. These are some of the crimes South Africans are most afraid of.”

Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa, who released the crime statistics, said: “Since 1994, we have been making steady progress in the fight against crime.

“We will work double hard to ensure this slight increase is re-routed to the downward trends that we experienced over the past nine years.”

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