Hijackings and house robberies — the crimes South Africans fear the most — have increased‚ along with murder.
Police released the country’s annual crime statistics on Tuesday showing a rise in serious and violent crimes.
The statistics show that on average 52 people are murdered every day‚ with attempted murders numbering 50 a day.
Police also revealed that there were 140‚956 violent robberies in South Africa.
Of these‚ there were 22‚343 house robberies‚ which had increased by 7.3%‚ and 16‚717 vehicle hijackings‚ which rose by 14.5%.
Gareth Newham‚ the Institute for Security Studies crime and justice programme head‚ said armed robberies were relatively well organised crimes‚ with hijackings supported by criminal syndicates which help buy and resell the vehicles. “In a large number of house and business robberies‚ robbers target electronic goods‚ jewellery and cellphones which are sold on quickly through organised groups who deal in stolen goods.”
Aggravated robberies are the highest they have been since the 2003/2004 financial year‚ he said.
The increase in aggravated robberies meant that the capacity of the police to effectively identify these networks had been compromised and was not working well‚ said Newham. “The simple fact is that there are no deterrents to these criminal networks‚ which means more people are setting up syndicates.
“The increase in these crime categories is a result of the sense of impunity those who belong to these criminal networks have‚ and the lack of fear they that have‚ that police will identify them and bring them to justice.”
He said the increase in murders was far more complex and was affected by various factors.
“When you have a decline in governance‚ which leads to service delivery breakdowns and failures‚ you have increasing levels of social instability.
“This results in an increase in groups and gangs who use violence to solve problems and deal with conflict.
“We have seen how the ability of government to deliver services has declined‚ which has directly contributed to social instability and increased levels of violence and murder and attempted murders.”