The latest quarterly crime statistics could be misleading if not considered within the context of the level five lockdown, which restricted people’s movement significantly, the FF+ said on Friday.
The party was reacting after the release of crime statistics for the first quarter of the 2020/2021 financial year by police minister Bheki Cele.
The statistics showed that crime was significantly down during SA’s Covid-19 lockdown as there were 53,891 fewer cases of murder, attempted murder, serious assault, robbery and common assault reported for the first quarter.
The party said common robbery showed the biggest decrease with 49.8%.
“These figures may look good, but common robbery occurs mainly on the streets and people were not allowed to move around. Given the stringent regulations of the lockdown, much fewer incidents of common robbery should have been reported,” the FF+ said.
The party said it was difficult to compare these figures with those of previous years due to the great impact of the lockdown.
“The harsh reality is that 3,466 murders were committed during this time and that figure is unacceptably high.”
The party, however, welcomed the fact that the crime statistics will from now on be released every quarter.
It said quarterly figures will facilitate the process of addressing the causes of crime which will, in turn, contribute to pro-actively combating crime.
The party also welcomed the fact that the number of farm murders and attacks were now also specified in the statistics.
“During the period from April to June, nine murders were committed on farms. A cause for concern is that during the farm attacks, there were 14 incidents of serious assault, three of rape, 12 of attempted murder and 45 robberies at residential properties on farms.”
The party said it was still of the opinion that SA was an extraordinary violent and dangerous country and that the ANC government was failing to protect citizens against crime.
By Ernest Mabuza – TimesLIVE