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Crime stats: Children under siege

A shocking increase in child murders has been recorded by the police. Stock photo.
A shocking increase in child murders has been recorded by the police. Stock photo.
Image: 123RF/ Artit Oubkaew

The murder rate against children increased by 22.6% quarter to quarter, MPs heard on Friday when the police released the latest crime statistics for the period between October and the end of December last year.

Attempted murder of children increased 30% year-on-year and 39.2% quarter-on-quarter. The data categorises children as being between the ages of 0 to 17 years.

There was an 8.9% increase in murder overall and a 3.5% increase in attempted murder compared to the previous year. There was an 11.3% increase in murder from the second quarter of 2021/22 to date.

“This means almost 75 people were murdered every day in the third quarter,” DA MP Okkie Terblanche said in reaction to the data.

Attempted murder also increased from the second to third quarter by 9.46%.

Commenting on gender-based violence (GBV)  crimes, he said the data showed the murder rate against women increased by 4.2% year-on-year and attempted murder by 7.2%.

“From October to December 2021, 11,315 rapes were reported, while 902 women were murdered, 1,204 were nearly killed, and 15,692 were assaulted,” he said.

“That same period saw 352 child murders, 394 attempted murders, and 2,048 children assaulted.”

Terblanche contrasted this with fewer police on the beat. He said the latest available police to population ratio from the 2020/21 annual report stated there is only one police officer for every 413 civilians. The ratio has dropped year-by-year from 1:358 in 2014/15 to 1:375 in 2017/18.

Worryingly, he said, the police budget is set to be cut by R11bn over the next three years.

“None of this bodes well for South Africans who continue to become ever more vulnerable.

“While police minister Bheki Cele and national police commissioner Gen Khehla Sitole continue to clash, women and children remain under siege.”

According to police data, the stations that recorded the most community-reported serious crimes by volume are:

  1. Cape Town central
  2. Honeydew, Gauteng
  3. Johannesburg central
  4. Durban central
  5. Park Road, Free State
  6. Phoenix, KwaZulu-Natal
  7. Rustenburg, North West
  8. Mitchells Plain, Western Cape
  9. Temba, Gauteng
  10. Randfontein, Gauteng

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