Number of serious crimes continues to mount

In the areas covered by Vukani, contact and serious crimes like sexual offences, rape and indecent assault, as well as car hijacking, commercial crime and burglary, showed an upward trend when compared with the figures for the previous year.

This was revealed when Police Minister Nathi Nhleko released the crime stats for the period between April 1 last year and the end of March this year, on Friday September 2.

While sexual crimes have shown a decline nationally, Rape Crisis warned that this should actually be sounding alarm bells because a decline could indicate that people are simply not reporting these crimes.

The organisation’s advocacy co-ordinator Jeane Bodenstein raised concerns about the under-reporting of rape. “The fact that fewer rapes were reported nationally, does not mean that fewer people were raped. There is a big issue of under-reporting of sexual offences and we know that as little as one in 13 rapes get reported, often due to a lack of faith in the criminal justice system. The fact that less sexual offences were reported therefore means that this lack of faith is still very real,” she said.

Sexual offences showed a downward trend, in areas like Khayelitsha, 229 to 223; Harare, 235 to 211; Philippi East, 128 to 126; Langa, 75 to 72 and Lingelethu, 79 to 62 but was up in Gugulethu, from 229 to 243; Mfuleni from 177 the previous year to 180; and Philippi recorded an increase to 94 from 66. Nyanga showed the biggest increase in this category, jumping to 351 from 292 during the previous recording period. Car hijacking seemed to be at its worst in all the areas within our distribution area. With the exception of Khayelitsha, car hijacking has increased dramatically. Khayelitsha decreased from 73 the previous year to eight this year, while Gugulethu went up to 202 from 120, Langa, from six to 18, Harare 86 to 119, Lingelethu from 54 to 68, Mfuleni from 49 to 101, Nyanga from 137 to 238, Philippi 19 to 21 and Philippi East from 63 to 114. Commercial crimes also saw an increase at all of the police stations in the area we cover, with the exception of only Lingelethu and Philippi. Theft of motor vehicles, however, saw a marked decrease across the board.