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Crime drops, but challenges remain

Government is winning the war against crime. This was confirmed during the recent release of the crime statistics for the year starting in April 2010 end in March 2011. Crime statistics showed a marked drop in all seven categories of contact crime. These include murder, attempted murder, sexual offences and assault with serious grievous bodily harm, common assault, aggravated robbery and common robbery.
Making progress

Improvements in visible policing had a direct effect on reducing business robberies and burglaries.Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa said the release of crime statistics should not be mistaken for a yearly event in which numbers and graphs dominate the discussion. It should rather be an occasion to reflect on the steps that government had taken to fight crime in a particular year. He said the crime statistics showed that government was making progress in some areas, while there were some crimes that continued to be a challenge in fighting.

Murder was down by 6,5 per cent and sexual offences by 3,1 per cent. Assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm dropped by 4,5 per cent, while robbery with aggravating circumstances was down by 12 per cent. In other categories, the statistics also showed a general decrease, except for the drug-related crimes which increased 10,2 per cent. Drunken driving cases were also up by 3,5 per cent.

Bank robberies

The biggest improvement noted in the crime statistics was a significant decline in bank robberies which decreased by a massive 58,1 per cent, with just 39 cases recorded in the 2010/11 financial year, as opposed to the 93 cases recorded in the 2009/2010 financial year.

Business Against Crime South Africa (Bacsa) said the drop in serious crime was the result of improvements in the criminal justice system and improved policing.

Bacsa CEO Graham Wright said systematic improvements in visible policing, crime detection and response, and steps by business to improve security, had a direct impact on the level of business robberies and burglaries, he added that it was clear the country was moving in the right direction.