Violent crime, murder on the increase in SA

Most violent crime categories in South Africa have gone up according to 2012/13 figures and last year was the third time murder increased in 20 years.

Police Minister Nkosinathi Nhleko and national police commissioner Riah Phiyega were expected to release the 2013/14 crime statistics in Pretoria on Friday.

According to the statistics, the Eastern Cape had the highest murder rate, followed by the Western Cape, Free State, and the Northern Cape. Limpopo had the lowest murder rate.

Business robberies leaped with a staggering 300% and rural areas were more dangerous.

In 80% of cases the victim knew the perpetrator.

Aggravated robbery also went up, as did business, house, and car robberies.

Last year, the ISS (Institute for Security Studies) said the crime statistics police had released last September had contained a miscalculation, and that they had downplayed the rate of violent crime.

At the time police had used population estimates calculated by Statistics SA in 2001, which expected the population to be 50.6 million in 2011, instead of using data from the 2011 census, which showed there were 52.3m people in South Africa.

By not updating the population number, police had understated the increase in serious and violent crimes. At the time the police ministry and the national police commissioner’s office dismissed the criticism.

Police said it would apply the new population estimates, based on the 2011 census results, only from the 2012/13 financial period onwards.