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Police murder rate ‘has dropped 61.9% since 1994’

The number of police officers murdered every year has declined by 61.9% since 1994, the SA Institute of Race Relations (SAIRR) said on Wednesday.

“The trend in the number of police officials murdered in South Africa is definitely sharply downward,” the SAIRR said in a statement.

“This is contrary to some sentiment expressed in the past week that South Africa’s police officers are being murdered at an ever greater rate.”

Fifty-eight police officers were murdered since January this year.

A police captain was shot dead and a station commissioner was wounded when a police clerk opened fire at the Rosebank police station in Johannesburg on Monday.

The clerk also died when he turned the gun on himself.

“While every murder of a police officer is a tragedy, it is necessary to point out that considerable progress has been made in reducing the number of killings,” SAIRR said.

The SAIRR report said that 265 officers were murdered in 1994. The number of murders per annum remained above 200 until it began to fall down in the early 2000s.

In 2004 it fell to under 100 and then averaged between 100 and 110 a year between 2006 to 2010.

“However, these later figures were still over 50% lower than … at the time of South Africa’s political transition.” — Sapa

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