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2015 crime stats for South Africa: everything you need to know

2015 crime stats for South Africa: everything you need to know

The South African Police Service has released the crime statistics for 2015, showing which crimes have increased – and decreased – in the past year.

Overall, the stats paint a more negative outlook for crime in the country: of the 27 crime categories presented in the data, only 11 had decreases in reported criminal activity from 2014 to 2015.

The remaining 16 categories saw crime levels rise.

A total of 2.206 million crimes were committed over the period, up marginally – 0.09% – from the 2.204 million reported in 2014.

According to Police commissioner Riah Phiyega, 1.8 million crimes were reported to the SAPS over the past year, and the rest of the crimes were identified through police action.

The biggest crime category to increase over the past year is sexual offences discovered as a result of police action. This includes crimes such as charges for prostitution and possession of pornography.

Between April 2013 and March 2014, there were 4,720 reported cases of sexual offences identified by police officers – in the April 2014 to March 2015 period, this jumped 34.3% to 6,340 cases.

In terms of sheer number, however, the biggest increase was in cases of robbery with aggravating circumstances, with 10,082 more crimes reported in 2015.

This was ‘only’ an 8.5% increase, from 118,963 to 129,045 reported cases, however.

General theft and drug-related crimes remain the biggest problems in the country, with over 360,000 and 260,000 reported crimes in those categories – followed by more than a quarter of a million house break-ins.

SA crime stats for 2015

Category 2014 2015 Change
Aggravated Robbery 50 194 53 639 6.8%
Contact-related Crimes 123 441 125 789 1.9%
Crime detected as result of police action 350 403 356 919 1.9%
Contact Crimes 611 574 616 973 0.9%
Property-related Crimes 558 228 553 487 -0.8%
Other Serious Crimes 510 748 499 698 -2.2%
Total 2 204 588 2 206 505 0.09%

Contact crimes include murder, attempted murder and sexual offences, as well as common assault and robbery.

Contact related crimes include arson and malicious injury to property.

Other serious crimes include commercial crime, shop-lifting and all other types of theft – while aggravated robbery includes hijackings, robbery at residences and cash-in-transit heists and bank robberies.

These are the crimes which have increased and decreased in the last year:

Biggest increase to biggest decrease in crimes 2015

Category 2014 2015 Change
Sexual offences as result of police action 4 720 6 340 34.3%
Truck hijacking 991 1279 29.1%
Carjacking 11 180 12 773 14.2%
Robbery with aggravating circumstances 118 963 129 045 8.5%
Robbery at residential premises 19 284 20 281 5.2%
Murder 17 023 17 805 4.6%
Attempted murder 16 989 17 537 3.2%
Robbery at non-residential premises 18 573 19 170 3.2%
Common robbery 53 505 54 927 2.7%
Drug-related crime 260 596 266 902 2.4%
Malicious injury to property 117 983 120 662 2.3%
Stock-theft 24 534 24 965 1.8%
Burglary at non-residential premises 73 464 74 358 1.2%
Shoplifting 70 487 71 327 1.2%
Theft out of or from motor vehicle 143 801 145 358 1.1%
Assault with the intent to inflict grievous bodily harm 182 333 182 556 0.1%
All theft not mentioned elsewhere 363 517 360 541 -0.8%
Illegal possession of firearms and ammunition 15 362 15 116 -1.6%
Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs 69 725 68 561 -1.7%
Burglary at residential premises 259 784 253 716 -2.3%
Theft of motor vehicle and motorcycle 56 645 55 090 -2.7%
Common assault 166 081 161 486 -2.8%
Total Sexual Offences 56 680 53 617 -5.4%
Arson 5 458 5 127 -6.1%
Commercial crime 76 744 67 830 -11.6%
Robbery of cash in transit 145 119 -17.9%
Bank robbery 21 17 -19.0%

According to Africacheck.org, because of the time periods between reporting the data and the financial year it covers, SAPS crime data is often at least 6 months out of date.

The data for 2015’s stats covers April 2014 to March 2015.

Africacheck also points out that uncertainty hovers over crime data as many crimes go unreported, the SAPS data is unaudited, and there is widespread mistrust of the SAPS itself.

For a full break-down of how to read crime data, read Africacheck’s guide to crime statistics online.

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BusinessTech's Staff Writer is directly plugged into the South African Internet backbone, and spits out press releases and other news as they receive it. They are believed to be cl...
Join the Conversation (13 comments)
  • BRING BACK MY TV

    well I feel a little unsafer….

  • CharlieTango

    They should list government corruption as a crime – oh wait, no one has ever been arrested for that despite the fact that it increases on an hourly basis.

    • maxmarktg

      In their eyes, no crime. It’s quite simply “their turn to eat”. May the immoral ANC government of the day fester and stew in their juices.

    • Chev

      yes, every day the biggest corrupter (JZ) off them all wants to eradicate corruption?? I can’t understand? somebody please help me to understand please please please!!

  • Sinbad

    Useless stat – what does 25% change mean if you’re 100% dead, part of the 75% group that certainly would have had a 34% chance of survival in the area which was 16% outside of typical crime area?

  • RJ
  • Xileer

    TL;DR: You’re screwed

  • dreigorian

    africa success stats…crime going up, currency going down…africa style

  • Chev

    what about Rhino poaching? isn’t that a crime as well?

  • john speck

    Amazing how the media takes these stats as truth,has discussions on them,anything that emanates from the ANC is probably a bunch of lies…ask JZ about his firepool.

  • notsosure

    Until our borders are policed efficiently this is only going to get worse, but instead of efficiency lets give all the police a raise?????? Lack of logic defies me.

  • r0j0e

    you can be arrested for having porn?! why do they sell it in cna then?

  • SpeakingTruth

    These stats are a joke and manipulated. They announced that truck hijackings were up 29%. The real figure is 52% which is why cash in transit and bank robberies is down.
    The police also reclassify crimes to less serious offences which is why those have increased.

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