South Africa’s murder rate dropped by 6.5% to 15 940 murders in 2010/11, Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa said on Thursday.
“It is perhaps worth mentioning that during the 1994/95 period our murder ratio as a country stood at 27 000,” he said in Pretoria at the release of the annual crime statistics.
The figures were drawn from April 2010 to March 2011.
“Murder is one of the most reliable forms of crime statistics,” the minister said.
Attempted murder decreased by 12.2%.
Though there was a decrease of 3% in sexual offences, Mthethwa said this was “an area that still required focused attention”.
Rapes still ‘unacceptably high’
“We are mainly concerned about the number of rapes that occur in the country … the number of reported cases of rapes still remains unacceptably high,” he said.
The number of reported rapes rose from 55 097 to 56 272.
Mthethwa said rape, based on international trends, was often under-reported.
During the period under review, 94 police officers were killed in the line of duty. This was down from the previous year’s figure of 110 police killed.
Assault with intent to inflict grievous bodily harm dropped by 4.5%, while robbery with aggravating circumstances was down by 12%.
Two years ago, house robberies had increased dramatically and last year, it showed signs of stabilising, Mthethwa said.
House robberies declined by 10% to 16 889 cases during the 2010/11 financial year — the first decrease since 2004.
“Our engagement with the insurance industry reflects that they too have started to witness the impact of this decline,” the minister said.
“According to the SA Insurance Crime Bureau, different insurance companies are experiencing decline in the range of between 4% and 31%.” – Sapa