South African murder stats higher than Afghanistan

South African murder stats higher than Afghanistan

South Africa has a higher murder rate than some war zones.

Crime Scene - Do Not Cross
Crime Scene – Do Not Cross

Recently released crime statistics quote murders in South Africa as 17805 for the 12 months starting in April 2014.  This puts murders in the country in the same bracket as those in the war zones of Iraq & Afghanistan.  Even more shocking that there has been little coverage of this in the media.

If we compare 17805 murders over this 12 month period to over 20000 in Iraq & 14000 in Afghanistan over the same period, the excessively high number seems surreal.  These huge numbers highlight the crisis & the tragedy of violence in a country that was once hailed a great success due to its peaceful transition to democracy.

Murder figures are broadly regarded as the most reliable of crime statistics.  While rape, assault & other crimes are widely under reported, deaths are widely reported even in countries where the population has lost faith in the ability of authorities to take action.

Crime stats are often manipulated, commonly by moving types of crime from one category to another.  Assault is grouped under different headings and some crimes are recategorised to reduce “serious” crimes stats.  Murder stats are difficult to disguise.

Other crimes that are spiralling out of control are armed robbery, housebreaking & carjacking.  The fall in reported rape stats is attributed to a decline in the number of victims who are willing to come forward.  Wait times for trial, lenient sentencing & fear for personal safety affect victims of domestic violence & other family crimes.

The South African Police employs more than 190 000 people and seems incapable of controlling the crime wave sweeping the country, despite the force having access to resources & technology.  A report on stating that according to the Police Minister 686 police officers had been arrested last year for various crimes raises more concerns about the effectiveness of policing in South Africa.

Daily crime stats:

Murders                                              49

Attempted murder                       51

Vehicle hijacking                            31

Burglary                                           714

Theft from vehicles                   394

Theft from business                  202

Theft of motor vehicles, & shoplifting dropped slightly, (2.6% & 1.1%) while stock theft dropped by 6.2%.

Crime is more common in lower income areas.  Murder is often drug induced/related & victims are often known to each other.  The theft of motor vehicles points to an increase in organised crime/syndicates.

Farm murders

67 farmers were murdered in 2014 (according to Afriforum)  This is a massive number when you consider the sparsely populated nature of farming areas, & the fact that food production is vitally important. These murders in particular, given the history of South Africa, may well fall under “hate crimes”.