Following a lull in criminal activity during the hard COVID-19 lockdown, crime stats began to rise as restrictions were eased between July and September.
This was illustrated by the quarter two crime statistics of the 2020/2021 financial year, released by Police Minister Bheki Cele on Friday.
In the period under review, 5 107 people were murdered in the country.
There was one reported murder in Jeffreys Bay, while seven murders took place in Humansdorp.
From a sample of 4 290 murder dockets, analysis revealed that 1 992 of the murders occurred in public spaces such as beaches, parks, streets or open fields.
“Over 900 people were killed in their homes or the homes of those who ended their lives. Alarmingly, arguments and misunderstandings remain the main drivers of murder,” the statistics reveal.
Robberies, vigilantism and gang conflicts also feature high on the list of some of the causes of murder.
During the three months, the Minister said alcohol continued to have a negative effect on the country’s communities.
“These crime statistics we are releasing today continue to vindicate our actions as the SAPS to clamp down on illegal alcohol trading.”
The figures show the consumption and abuse of alcohol is a causative factor in hundreds of murder cases recorded in the second quarter.
Liquor, Cele said, was also involved in 829 assault GBH [grievous bodily harm] cases and 747 rape cases, while 179 attempts of murder were alcohol induced.
“Over 1 000 incidents of murder, attempted murder, rape and assault took place inside or outside liquor outlets such as bars, taverns, shebeens and nightclubs,” Cele said, adding that the figures “make it impossible to deny the true effects of alcohol abuse”.
With the festive season on the horizon, Cele said criminals are trying to make up for the time lost during the ‘crime holiday’ experienced in the first quarter of the financial year.
“This is demonstrated by the increase in the country’s most feared crimes, which are residential robberies,” he said.
The Minister said it was encouraging to see that the third leg of the so-called trio crimes is also showing a decrease of 1.6%.
Residential robbery and burglary
39 304 Burglary at residential premises took place while 5 760 Robbery at residential premises occurred during the period under review.
In Jeffreys Bay, 78 homes were burgled, while in Humansdorp, 32 cases were reported. St Francis Bay experienced a disturbing uptrend with 28 cases being reported – up from 17 cases in the same period last year.
However, there is a downward trend over the longer term of homes being burgled in St Francis Bay.
In the three months of reporting, there were 7 339 cases of stock theft countrywide.
About 26 322 sheep were stolen in the last three months.
“Over 14 000 cattle were also stolen and found themselves in abattoirs and on to the plates of unsuspecting South Africans. This crime has also recorded a decrease in all provinces, except for the Northern Cape,” said Cele.
Five cases of stock theft were reported in the Humansdorp area and none in Jeffreys Bay.