South Africa’s latest crime stats: everything you need to know

The South African Police Service has made good on its promise to start reporting crime stats in the country more regularly, with the latest release dealing with criminal activity in the last 9 months of 2016.

Crime stats releases in South Africa are often criticised for being out of date by the time the annual report is released to the public.

For example, the 2016 crime stats released by the SAPS in September 2016 covered crime activity between March 2015 and March 2016 – 6 months old by the time the data is published.

In a bid to correct this, the SAPS said that it would change its publication schedule, and try to release the data quarterly – giving a better indication of crime activity trends in the country.

On Friday (3 March), the SAPS released its first ‘up-to-date’ report, tracking the changes in crime in the 9 months from April to December 2016.

According to the data, over 960,000 serious crimes cases have been reported to the SAPS over the 9 months period, averaging over 3,550 crimes every day – or 148 crimes every hour.

The biggest crime increases have happened in the contact crime category, where robbery with aggravating circumstances (including carjacking) has increased by 6.1%.

With this, the so-called ‘trio crimes’ (carjacking, robbery at home and robbery at non-residential premises) all saw large increases – with carjacking seeing the biggest increase across all crime categories.

The table below details all the latest crime stats as reported by SAPS


Murder has decreased by 0.1% for the 9 month reporting period April-December 2016


Sexual offences decreased by 6.3% between April – December 2016

Assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm decreased by 5.6% between April-December 2016; common assault decreased by 3.7%. Attempted murder decreased by 0.8%.

Robbery with aggravating circumstances increased by 6.1% between April-December 2016.

Other contact crimes include all theft not mentioned elsewhere, commercial crime and shoplifting.

Crimes detected as a result of police action are crimes that are not reported to the police, but are rather uncovered as the police conducts its business, such as apprehending criminals in road blocks etc.

Detection of these crimes increased by 8.9% from Apr-Dec.

Contact related crimes include:

  • Arson
  • Malicious damage to property

Property-related crimes include:

  • Burglary at Residential premises
  • Burglary at Non-Residential premises
  • Theft of motor vehicle and motor cycle
  • Theft out of or from motor vehicle
  • Stock theft

Other serious crimes include:

  • All Theft not mentioned elsewhere
  • Commercial Crime
  • Shoplifting

Read: These are the most feared crimes in South Africa

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South Africa’s latest crime stats: everything you need to know