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
|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
|Sexual offences as result of police action||4 720||6 340||34.3%|
|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%|
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.