Factors such as the lift on the ban of alcohol sales may be a reason why the “crime holiday” is over and the crime statistics for the first quarter of this financial year 2021/2022 were high.
The first quarter crime statistics recorded double digits increase compared to last year’s skewed and abnormal crime trends due to the pandemic which coincided with the lockdown.
The crimes which recorded a double digit increase, according to Police Minister Bheki Cele, were: contact sexual offences 20.0%, sexual assault 13.9%, and attempted sexual offences 13.2%.
Crime statistic and drug policy researcher Anine Kriegler said: “The dramatic increase from last year was because we compared this year’s statistics to a period of exceptionally low crime, because everyone was at home and unable to buy booze.
“We are mostly seeing a return to the trends seen before the lockdown. Those trends are due to different factors for different crime types. But I wouldn’t be surprised to see an increase in various crime rates over the next few years, because of the economic impact of Covid.”
Kriegler added the statistics were capable of changing towards a positive direction.
The crime statistics also revealed Gauteng’s top 40 police stations where the highest and lowest serious crimes were recorded.
The lowest area with serious crimes recorded included: Ivory Park 18%, Roodeport 21.7% and Randfontein 24.5%.
Ward 101 Democratic Alliance councillor Dalu Cele said Roodeport had several councillors and he was responsible for areas such as Olivedale.
“Crime prevention is a collective effort, as ward councillors we get involved in a community policing forum (CPF) and is also linked to the nearest police station,” he said.
Cele said the CPF helped with ideas on how community members could protect themselves. “It’s all about creating awareness and assistance of the crime situation in that particular area. We also work with South African Police Service (Saps).”
Ward 78 Ivory Park councillor Thompson Maluleka was surprised that Ivory Park Police Station was among the police stations with low cases for serious crimes.
“This figure is surprising and I will assume the people in Ivory Park have given up reporting the crime that takes place in the community,” he said.