The rainbow nation – Cauldron of crime

Another day, more shocking headlines of another life lost to crime.  RIP Senzo Meyiwa. While headline stories like Shrien Dewani, Oscar and the latest high profile murder of Meyiwa occasionally draw attention to the high rate of crime in our country, crime never sleeps, it never rests, and it never pauses for a second.  Most people are not even aware of how bad it really is, which is why I’d like to draw attention to the SAPS reported crime stats below which relate to the period 1 April 1994 – 31 March 2014.Note that these figures should be regarded as the minimum as many crimes are not reported to the police.

Murder

During this period, the SAPS reported a total of 409,954 murders.  That equates to 20,497 per year, 56 per day.  A murder occurred every 26 minutes.

Culpable Homicide

We’re all aware of this crime category given the latest developments in the Oscar Pistorius trial.  Besides murder, this is the only other crime in which a life is taken by another and one would assume it would be serious.  Unfortunately it is seldom mentioned in the media and often left out of police reports and if you look at the official crime stats presented by the police each year, it’s not classified as a “Serious Crime”.  It’s a fact; the killing of Reeva Steenkamp is not classified as a “Serious Crime” according to the SAPS.

During this period, the SAPS reported a total of 243,939 culpable homicides.  That equates to 12,197 per year, 33 per day.  A culpable homicide has occured every 43 minutes.

This means that during this period, a total of 653,893 have been killed in reported homicides.  That equates to 32,695 per year, 90 per day.  A homicide occurred every 16 minutes.

Serious Crimes

Here are the numbers for the 20 categories of “Serious Crimes” reported by the SAPS during this period:

Murder: Total – 409,954; Per year – 20,498; Per day – 56
Attempted murder: Total – 477,024; Per year – 23,851; Per day – 65
Assault with the intent to inflict grievous bodily harm: Total – 4,544,244; Per year 227,212; Per day – 622
Total sexual offences: Total – 1,240,461; Per year – 62,023; Per day – 170 (Estimates of actual sexual offences range between 6m (conservative) and 25m (aggressive))
Common Assault: Total – 4,321,777; Per year – 216,089; Per day – 592
Robbery with Aggravating circumstances: Total – 2,138,054; Per year – 106,903; Per day – 293
Common Robbery: Total – 1,335,212; Per year – 66,761; Per day – 183
Burglary at business premises: Total – 1,522,418; Per year – 76,121; Per day – 209
Burglary at residential premises: Total – 5,310,740; Per year – 265,537; Per day – 727
Theft of motor vehicle/cycle: Total – 1,716,024; Per year – 85,801; Per day – 235
Theft out of motor vehicle: Total – 3,172,934; Per year – 158,647; Per day – 435
Stock theft: Total – 728,785; Per year – 36,439; Per day – 100
Arson: Total – 165,261; Per year – 8,263; Per day – 23
Malicious damage to property: Total – 2,703,183; Per year – 135,159; Per day – 370
Illegal possession of guns/ammunition: Total – 287,106; Per year – 14,355; Per day – 39
Drug related crime: Total – 1,905,573; Per year – 95,279; Per day – 261
Driving under the influence: Total – 796,022; Per year – 39801; Per day – 109
Other theft: Total – 8,866,946; Per year – 443,347; Per day – 1,215
Commercial Crimes: Total – 1,362,433; Per year – 68,122; Per day – 187
Shoplifting: Total – 1,387,513; Per year – 69,378; Per day – 190
This equates to a grand total of: 44,391,664 “Serious Crimes” reported in this period.  That means 2,219,583 per year, 6081 per day.

Then there are also the crimes that do not fall under the “Serious Crimes” category:

Kidnapping & Abduction: Total – 103,186; Per year – 5,159; Per day – 14
Negligent & Ill treatment of children: Total – 69,990; Per year – 3,450; Per day – 10
Crimen Injuria: Total – 830,653; Per year – 41,532; Per day – 114
Culpable Homicide (including Reeva Steenkamp and Jub Jub victims): Total – 243,939; Per year – 12,197, Per day – 33
Including these not-so-serious crimes, the grand total of crimes reported by the SAPS for this period is:  45,639,432.  That means 2,281,972 per year, 6252 per day.

Bear in mind that our prison population sits at approximately 160,000…

Kevin King.

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