The South African Police Service, with Stats SA, has published the country’s crime statistics for 2018, showing which types of criminal activity have increased – and decreased – in the past year.
The stats cover 21 crime categories – 17 of which are reported by the public, and four of which are as a result of police activity.
Understanding the changes, the 17 reported crimes should show a decrease to indicate improvement in that category, while the four police-reported crimes should increase, to show more effective policing.
Changes to crime stats in those latter four categories do not necessarily indicate an increase in those types of crimes, but could be attributed more intensive police activity.
The statistics cover all reported crimes between 1 April 2017 and March 2018.
A total of 2.09 million crimes were recorded in 2018 – down from the 2.12 million recorded in 2017. This represents a 4.4% drop in the number of reported crimes in the 17 public categories, along with an increase in the number of crimes as a result of police action.
Here are the stats for the general categories:
SA crime stats for 2017 (1 April 2017 to 31 March 2018)
|Contact Crimes||608 321||601 366||-1.1%|
|Contact-related Crimes||120 730||115 361||-4.4%|
|Property-related Crimes||540 653||507 975||-6.0%|
|Other Serious Crimes||469 276||438 113||-6.6%|
|Total public reported||1 738 980||1 662 815||-4.4%|
|Crime detected as a result of police action||390 021||433 966||11.3%|
|Total||2 129 001||2 096 781||-1.5%|
- 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.
- Crimes detected as a result of police action cover crimes discovered by active policing, such as road-blocks and raids. Categories covered by this are the illegal possession of firearms, DUI or driving under the influence (of drugs or alcohol); and the use, possession or trade of illegal drugs.
The graph below shows the 10-year trend in publicly reported crimes.
Murder rates increased during the year quite significantly, shooting up 7% to over 20,000 cases recorded in 2017/18. This gives South Africa a rather alarming 57 murders a day and at a rate of 35.7 people murdered per 100,000 population.
Cash-in-transit crimes, which have grabbed headlines over the past few months, have also recorded a sharp increase, climbing 57% to 238 cases recorded in the past year (from 152 cases previously). This category of crime is trending upward, according to the SAPS.
Shockingly, the number of reported rapes in South Africa has also increased to 40,035 case in the year.
Crimes are counted per charge, not per docket, as one docket may contain many charges.
All crime stats include attempts, with the exception of murder and rape, as attempted murder and attempted rape are recorded separately.
These are the crimes which have increased and decreased in the last year:
Biggest increase to biggest decrease in crimes 2018
|Robbery of cash in transit||152||238||+56.6%|
|Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs||75 034||86 160||+14.8%|
|Drug-related crime||292 689||323 547||+10.5%|
|Illegal possession of firearms and ammunition||16 134||17 558||+8.8%|
|Sexual offences discovered as result of police action||6 164||6 701||+8.7%|
|Stock-theft||26 902||28 849||+7.2%|
|Murder||19 016||20 336||+6.9%|
|Truck hijacking||1 183||1 202||+1.6%|
|Sexual Offences||49 660||50 108||+0.9%|
|Attempted murder||18 205||18 233||+0.2%|
|Common assault||156 450||156 243||-0.1%|
|Robbery at residential premises||22 343||22 261||-0.4%|
|Commercial crime||73 550||73 277||-0.4%|
|Robbery with aggravating circumstances||140 956||138 364||-1.8%|
|Assault with the intent to inflict grievous bodily harm||170 616||167 352||-1.9%|
|Carjacking||16 717||16 325||-2.3%|
|Robbery at non-residential premises||20 680||20 047||-3.1%|
|Malicious injury to property||116 409||111 492||-4.2%|
|Theft of motor vehicle and motorcycle||53 307||50 663||-5.0%|
|Common robbery||53 418||50 730||-5.0%|
|Burglary at non-residential premises||75 618||71 195||-5.8%|
|Theft out of or from motor vehicle||138 172||129 174||-6.5%|
|Burglary at residential premises||246 654||228 094||-7.5%|
|All theft not mentioned elsewhere||328 272||302 656||-7.8%|
|Shoplifting||67 454||62 180||-7.8%|
|Arson||4 321||3 869||-10.5%|
The full presentation is embedded below: