Whilst general and domestic crime, in some instances, has decrease, it is concerning that business robberies in South Africa increased by 7.5% in the 2011/12 financial year to a ratio of 31.5, from 29.3 in the previous year, with mostly small to medium-sized businesses targeted, the latest crime statistics issued by the South African Police Service (SAPS) have revealed
Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa confirmed that tackling ‘Trio Crimes’ (the category of contact crimes under which business robberies fall) required a comprehensive and holistic strategy to ensure that the phenomenon was addressed in all its dimensions. He called for a shared vision, a collective and integrated approach, business involvement and participation and improved crime-prevention.
He said the SAPS had finalised a strategy to combat and reduce robberies at small business and would, through the Civilian Secretariat of Police, engage relevant parties to ensure the implementation of the strategy within the next few weeks. The initiative, called the “Small Business Crime Combating Strategy”, and involving the police, departments of Trade & Industry, Home Affairs and Justice and Business Against Crime SA (Bacsa), was a multi-dimensional approach to combating business robberies, of which one third was in the informal sector.
Some of the stats from the research revealed:
- Contact crimes, such as murder, attempted murder and sexual assault, declined by 3.5% in the financial year under review. In 2010/11, contact crimes declined by 6.9%.
- The number of murders fell to 15 609 in the year under review, from 15 940 in the previous year.
- Crimes such as carjacking declined by 11.9% in the 2011/12 year, vehicle theft by 25.1% while house robberies fell by 1.9% during the period.
- Organised crime also declined, with cash-in-transit robberies falling by 37.5% and bank robbery decreasing by 10.3%.
- The Minister said ATM bombings in the period decreased by 34.6%, from 399 cases to 261 cases.
- Overall, the serious crime ration declined by 1.9% in 2011/12 to 3 609, from 3 680 in 2010/11. Looking at the past eight years, serious crime reduced by 31.8%.