The South African Police Service (SAPS) has presented the country’s latest crime statistics, covering the fourth quarter of the 2021/22 financial year, January to March 2022.
Total reported crimes during the period increased significantly, both as a result of reported crimes, and a jump in the number of crimes detected through police activity.
Contact crimes, including assault and sexual offences, saw a jump of 15%, with violent crimes like murder, assault and sexual offences also recording double-digit growth.
According to the SAPS, 6,083 people were murdered over the quarter (up 22%) – the equivalent of 68 people a day – which is the highest number recorded over this period in the last five years.
Attempted murders were up 25%, with the SAPS tracking 5,717 cases.
Across most violent crime categories, the stats for the quarter are the worst they have been for the same period over the last five years.
|Murder||4 668||4 896||4 589||4 976||6 083|
|Attempted murder||4 243||4 647||X4 216||4 582||5 717|
|Assault (GBH)||41 078||43 113||40 168||36 417||42 992|
|Common assault||39 314||42 262||42 866||38 889||45 746|
|Rape||9 695||10 792||9 905||9 518||10 818|
Contact-related crimes and other serious crimes were both up in the quarter, with a notable increase in carjackings (+19.7%), truck hijacking (+31.4%), and assault (+18%).
Notably, of the 23 community reported crimes tracked by the SAPS, only four saw a decline compared to a year ago. Meanwhile, 14 other crime categories saw numbers jump by more than 10%, year on year.
On a more positive note, the stats also show increased police activity, with crimes detected as a result of police action also rising over the quarter.
The number of cases of driving under the influence spiked by almost 40%, while drug-related crimes detected was up 18%.
Provincially, Gauteng recorded 104,999 cases opened by the community. This is followed by the Western Cape with 72,448 cases, and KwaZulu-Natal with 60,108 cases.
In previous quarterly reports, the SAPS compared the 2021/22 stats to those in 2019, saying that the 2020/21 period was not comparable because of the disruptions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown.
Since the third quarter, 2019 comparisons have been dropped and figures have returned to regular year-on-year analysis.
SA crime stats: Q4 2020/21 vs Q4 2021/22
|2020 vs 2021||Jan-Mar 2021||Jan-Mar 2022||Change|
|Contact Crimes||137 314||157 907||+15.0%|
|Contact-related Crimes||25 582||29 559||+15.5%|
|Property-related Crimes||91 223||91 278||+0.1%|
|Other Serious Crimes||93 801||101 643||+8.4%|
|Total public reported||347 920||380 387||+9.3%|
|Crime detected as a result of police action||50 034||60 151||+20.2%|
|Total||397 954||440 538||+10.7|
- 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 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 roadblocks and raids. This category covers the illegal possession of firearms, DUI or driving under the influence (of drugs or alcohol), and the use, possession or trade of illegal drugs.
Biggest increases in crime categories for 4Q21
|Category||Jan-Mar 2021||Jan-Mar 2022||Change|
|Bank robbery||1||5||+4 cases|
|Robbery of cash in transit||42||53||+26.2%|
|Attempted murder||4 582||5 717||+24.8%|
|Murder||4 976||6 083||+22.2%|
|Carjacking||4 513||5 402||+19.7%|
|Assault with the intent to inflict grievous bodily harm||36 417||42 992||+18.1%|
|Common assault||38 889||45 746||+17.6%|
|Malicious damage to property||24 850||28 649||+15.3%|
|Sexual Offences||12 133||13 799||+13.7%|
|Common robbery||9 549||10 787||+13.0%|
|Commercial crime||22 558||25 431||+12.7%|
|All theft not mentioned elsewhere||59 646||65 920||+10.5%|
|Robbery with aggravating circumstances||30 768||32 783||+6.5%|
|Stock-theft||6 089||6 243||+2.5%|
|Theft out of or from motor vehicle||20 111||20 457||+1.7%|
|Theft of motor vehicle and motorcycle||9 240||9 377||+1.5%|
|Burglary at residential premises||40 568||40 960||+1.0%|
|Robbery at residential premises||5 288||5 267||-0.4%|
|Robbery at non-residential premises||4 872||4 700||-3.5%|
|Burglary at non-residential premises||15 215||14 241||-6.4%|
|Shoplifting||11 597||10 292||-11.3%|
Crime detected as a result of police action
|Category||Jan-Mar 2021||Jan-Mar 2022||Change|
|Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs||8 583||11 992||39.7%|
|Drug-related crime||35 932||42 309||17.7%|
|Illegal possession of firearms and ammunition||3 184||3 542||11.2%|
|Sexual offences discovered as result of police action||2 335||2 308||-1.2%|