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Murder rate climbs as police ‘drop the ball’

The number of homicides rose by 7% to 20 336 – an average of almost 56 a day, in the 12 months through March.
South Africa’s murder rate rose to its highest level in nine years as a depleted police force struggled to get to grips with violent crime.

The number of homicides increased 7% to 20 336 — an average of almost 56 a day — in the 12 months through March, the police service said in its annual crime statistics report on Tuesday. The murder rate increased to 35.2 per 100 000 people — more than six times higher than that of the US.

“I can say the South African Police Service dropped the ball,” Police Minister Bheki Cele told lawmakers in Cape Town. “This situation must be arrested and reversed with lightning speed.”

Efforts to fight crime were hampered by repeated changes to top management at law enforcement agencies during former President Jacob Zuma’s almost nine-year tenure, while a stagnating economy and inflation-beating increases for state workers left no room in the budget to retain and hire officers.

Zuma, who has been personally implicated in a succession of scandals, was forced to quit in February under pressure from the ruling party and replaced by Cyril Ramaphosa, who has pledged to bring crime under control.

The police service now has 191 000 members compared with 200 000 in 2010 and it could take 10 years to get back to that level, said Cele, a former police commissioner who was named minister shortly after Ramaphosa took office.

The number of sexual offenses increased 0.9% to 50 108, while attempted murder cases rose 0.2% to 18 233, the report showed. Attacks on armoured vehicles carrying cash jumped 57% to 238 robberies. Commercial crimes fell 7.8% and home break-ins by 0.4%. There were 13 bank robberies during the year.

The murder rate has fallen from 67.9 per 100 000 people in 1995, when an integrated national police force was created and national statistics were compiled for the first time, but has been on the rise since 2011.

“South Africa has not reached a state of lawlessness,” Cele said. “These crime statistics will not get worse.”

© 2018 Bloomberg L.P
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Let’s look at the statistics before we jump to conclusions.
The amount of violent deaths per 100 000 people is 37. The figures for aids are 25 000, TB 1000 and diabetes 550.

These figures prove that the person who jumps over your vibacrete wall is relatively harmless. It is the one who prepares your food, and who you sleep with, that is most likely to cause your death. Your security system basically keeps your spouse from harming the general public. 🙂
But we all knew that already…

Although while we’re at it, the death rate per 100k people is actually 100k =)

I think it’s the human contact that is the issue here. Illnesses can be explained and you can make changes. Violent crime is different since it is less controllable and more personal.

You left out Taxi driver deaths.

Deaths in taxi-related accidents at the hands of reckless taxi-driver thugs are most definitely ‘murders’ in my opinion.

You can get treatment against TB or diabetes and the current medication against AIDS gives you a pretty good chance of living to old age. On the other hand once they shoot you dead you have not many treatment options.

What? Your AIDS stats must be a typo… 25% of the population are not dying from AIDS. In any event AIDS is fast becoming a chronic illness.

And comparing murder to a lifestyle disease like type 2 diabetes is nonsense.

To have less chance of being murdered in SA one should be female & sober.

25% of deaths in South Africa can be ascribed to AIDS.

Yes, there is medication for diabetes, AIDS and TB, but the statistics include the people who are on medication. If not for the medication, the figures would be much worse!

My point is simply this. While the amount of violent deaths in South Africa is totally unacceptable, it does not make sense for a diabetic person with AIDs to emigrate in order to escape the high crime rate.

12 000 people out of 100 000 Americans die due to diabetes every year. It makes no sense to flee our shamefully high crime rate, and emigrate to the USA, and eat pancakes with maple-syrup and fritters for breakfast.

The beauty of statistics is that it helps intelligent people to avoid emotional reactions.

The SAPS is just a shadow of its former self. At least 146 train carriages have been lost to arson in Cape Town in the past five years. But prosecutors have failed to secure a single conviction in the courts. Where is crime intelligence? Busy spying on political enemies of the leadership.

You can get treatment against TB or diabetes and the current medication against AIDS gives you a pretty good chance of living to old age. On the other hand once they shoot you dead you have not many treatment options.

On the general observation that murders are not publicly announced prior. How, then, do police prevent murder(s)?

What is loadmouth Bheki Cele doing back at the police – albeit as minister this time round.

Not going to lower the murder rate by increasing policing or getting tougher or shooting to kill.

Breakdown in society is the root cause of this, with broken families and teenage pregnacy the norm and children often shipped around from one elderly distant relative to the next this is the result.

It will be long process but fixing the upbringing of our children is the only long term solution. Children that grow up without love, attention and structure is always going to be more likely to grow up without a moral compass and not place any value on human life.

Every time I deal with a local policeman it immediately becomes apparent to me I am dealing with someone who is not skilled and who has little or no insight into policing. Manners and respect for the ordinary citizen is non-existent. Basically, our police never had the ball in the first place. You go overseas and see how smart, alert and on the ball the police are and then you come here and see this!

Cele had a bite of the cherry some time back as head of policing, now they give him another shot. They say a leopard never changes its spots – what makes anything different with the cat in the hat police minister – he has always been a disaster at policing or even cleaning up the crime stats and has failed miserably. This is a fundamental flaw with the ANC cadre system they keep retreading useless people and moving them from government entity to the next, Where are the prosecutions “Cat in the Hat” and “Shaun the Sheep”

It’s a popular notion that the police are responsible for fixing crime, but this is not so.

Crime is actually fixed by the courts who are supposed to impose a punishment that makes would-be criminals think twice before committing a crime.

The job of the police is merely to find the criminals and then convince the court they got the right guy.

One may argue about the competence of the police here, but there is no gainsaying that when they do have successful convictions, they are let down by the courts, whose punishment s are regarded with such contempt that they often go out and repeat the very same crime while out on bail!

This contempt for the courts and the police does not exist where courts have both punishment and judges that are to be feared eg Singapore or China. Or sharia courts!

An additional major contributing problem is that crime is dealt with by 3 separate ministers who operate in a squabbling silo mode instead of these 3 ministries falling under a single “super-minister” who can bang a lot of heads together.

And the so-called Official Opposition is also completely useless here too. Absolutely no ideas, and spineless as hell.

I do not believe harsher punishment is the answer and I most defnitely do not wish to be subject to sharia law. One cannot live in a society where the only reason people do not commit murder each other is because the are afraid of harsh punishment. Europe had horrific ways of execution and torture through the middle ages till the 19th century yet the murder rate was 100x higher than today after Europe has taken a progressive view on criminal justice. One cannot expect people to value human life if society itself place no value on it.

The nub of the issue is not whether the punishment should be “harsher”, but whether it’s effective.

The appropriate level of punishment (or “discipline” – similar but not exactly the same), is the MINIMUM level that achieves the desire change.

If that means tickling miscreants with feathers and love, so be it. But if that is NOT working, then the reality has to be faced up to. And fast.

Moreover, the societal problem of applying “discipline” is that if you choose the “wrong” method of punishment, then you risk a situation where punishment to one group of individuals may be quite effective (because they self-accept the punishment as being severe enough to force avoidance of the bad behaviour), while the self-same sanction for exactly the same misdemeanour, can be regarded with complete derision by another group under exactly the same circumstances.

Hard to believe?

Well, this is an everyday discipline occurrence in MANY spheres. Traffic fines for example, where a R1000 fine to a poor taxi owner can be truly devastating, while the same R1000 to a high-flying sales rep in Sandton will be viewed as a mere nuisance – even flippantly as just the cost of business which his boss will happily repay out of the company petty cash.

What to do then, when discipline clearly has a different scale of acceptance for different folks?

Your suggestion – elsewhere – of small, loving families as the antidote to our societal problems is something I heartily agree with and strongly promote myself. And is certainly applicable in the long term (but only if the general populace accept those values).

But that does not fix the immediate problem – where there is outright disdain for these values. However sensible they may seem to you, these are NOT values that are universally shared (at all !) in Africa!

Nor are they of much help in the interim until good families eventually take hold (if this ever can occur!), because they are being overwhelmed by a preponderance of individuals, many of whom are mentally ill and outright dangerous, stalking the streets with violence and mayhem.

Use a gun in crime in Singapore or China, and the outcome is unequivocal. You get hanged!

It’s NO surprise then, that violent crime in these countries is minimal.

We need to stop pussyfooting around these issues. And do what works! And fast!

scary to think, that the chance of being murdered is higher then to be in a fatal car accident. the decay is every ware.

maybe the 20 336 is not THAT bad:

how many of the 20 336 are murderers that were murdered?

“taking law into our own hands” might be the silver lining running under the bridge … … … 🙂

The ´ball´ has been out of play for so long that they haven´t got a snowball´s chance in Hell of ever finding it again…this country´s Achilles heel is a lack of suitably skilled people. The average civil servant would be unemployable in any 1st world country. In Spain an aspiring police officer has to embark on a 1 to 2-year study programme to prepare for the civil service entrance exam. It is so arduous that many people take a sabbatical in order to prepare. And that is only to be in contention for selection. Tertiary qualifications and prior work experience are also taken into consideration. Only a predetermined number of candidates are accepted. The rest will simply to have to start the process again or give up. Competition is fierce. There is no place for sub-standard candidates. It is evident in the calibre of their policing.

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