Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa on Thursday (31 October) welcomed the IHS Crime Index, which found that crime in South Africa is at its lowest level in 15 years.
Crime is coming down says Nathi Mthethwa. Image: GCIS
The index, released by IHS on Wednesday (30 October) said that the crime rate dropped by 38% since its peak in the 2002/03 financial year.
The report is divided in two indices, namely violent crime (referring to crimes such as murder and rape) and property crime (referring to acts against one's property like arson and burglary).
"The decline in overall crime in South Africa has been echoed in both indices, reporting a steady decline since 2002. Violent crime is at its lowest level in a decade, declining some 40% between 2002 and 2013. Property crime decreased by 24% over the same period. The declining crime rates reflect the overall improvement of conditions in South Africa," said the report.
Mthethwa said the findings vindicate government's national crime statistics, which were released in August.
"While many local analysts were sceptical in their analysis of the statistics, it was gratifying that an internationally recognised, credible and globally respected institution has now affirmed the fact that crime is decreasing in South Africa," the minister said.
Steady progress being made
"Since 1994, we have been making steady progress in the fight against crime. This period has been characterised by growing unity in action against crime, a period focused on improving life conditions for all," he said.
A multi-pronged approach in the fight against crime, which involves of communities, businesses, civic organisations, labour movements and other stakeholders, has been adopted.
"For this reason, we as the police leadership, are out there almost on a weekly basis meeting with communities as part of ensuring that we entrench this community-policing philosophy. Such community interactions help us to tap into the collective wisdom of citizens in order to enhance crime prevention while finding solutions around crime," explained Mthethwa.
Released in August, crime statistics revealed that there were 896,298 serious crime arrests in the 2012/13 financial year, compared with 777,140 during the 2011/12 financial year.
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