NATIONAL NEWS - Gauteng police commissioner Lieutenant-General Elias Mawela on Thursday presented the province’s third quarter crime statistics for the 2020-21 financial year.
The stats showed the police were able to reduce serious crimes reported by communities by 9.6%, which was significantly above their set 7.5% target.
However, gender-based violence (GBV) remains a major concern as it contributed greatly to the province’s overall crime picture.
The crime statistics, presented to the provincial legislature’s portfolio committee on community safety, covered period from October to December 2020.
Mawela told the committee the public outcry against the scourge of gender-based violence reflected the challenges police were faced with in Gauteng.
According to the statistics, 7,860 offences related to domestic violence were recorded in the period.
“The top five such offences were common assault, with 4,434 counts of domestic violence-related offences. Assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm 1,781 counts, malicious damage to property 1,126 counts, rape 138 counts and murder 24 counts,” Mawela said.
He said domestic violence also contributed to other serious and violent crimes in the province, with 161 sexual offences reported (6% increase), 26 attempted murder (3.8% increase) and 24 murders reported to police.
Mawela said 2,517 rape cases were reported, translating to a 4.6% increase.
“That further translates to 111 cases more than the corresponding period in 2019-20,” he said.
The police commissioner said 5,527 cases of rape occurred at either the home of the victim or perpetrator, while 178 cases happened in public places.
“And 138 of these incidents were related to domestic violence,” Mawela said.
Reported cases of murder at liquor outlets, farms
Mawela also raised concerns that liquor outlets featured as the most likely places for people to be murdered in Gauteng. The province also saw an increase in attacks on farms and smallholdings.
“During the period under review, three murders on farms and smallholdings were reported. All additional crimes committed were nine house robberies and one business robbery,” Mawela said.
Contact crimes – that include murder, attempted murder and sexual offences, as well as common assault and robbery – decreased by 2.7% translating to 1,339 cases less than in the period under review in 2019.
Mawela said murder increased by 7.5% compared to the same period in 2019.
“This means that 93 more people were killed in comparison to the same period in 2019. Twenty four of these murders were as a result of domestic violence. In our analysis of murder cases, we found that the top contributing factors include arguments, robberies at households, businesses and streets, mob justice incidents, taxi violence and illicit mining,” the police commissioner said.
“Furthermore, most victims were murdered in public places like on the street, open fields, parking areas and abandoned buildings. Some victims were killed at the home of the perpetrator.”