Going down, looking up?

The number of murders in South Africa has declined by 30% from 1994/5 to 2008/9, and the murder rate per 100,000 people has declined by 44%. (SAIRR, Press Release 2/12/2009)

This week’s theme: Crime and safety

10 responses to “Going down, looking up?

  1. Lady Salsa

    10 years Ago

    Good to hear, won’t you let FIFA know too?

  2. Linda

    10 years Ago

    are these “World Cup” stats? who did the count?

  3. Grant

    10 years Ago

    It is so easy to manipulate figures for propagande purposes. In 1994/5 there was a war going on in KZNatal, in particular, where Inkatha and the ANC were murdering each other daily. If we extract those murders then we will find out if the average murder rate has declined. My guess would be that they have actually increased.

  4. Root

    10 years Ago

    According to a SAPS report, there were 18,148 murders in 2008/9. In the same year there were 18,298 cases of attempted murder.

    Shocking stuff.

    This report is available at: http://www.saps.gov.za/

  5. Heim

    10 years Ago

    The murder rate is coming down, there should be no murder!!! If the rate is down 30% what is the figure, How many people get murdered in SA daily?

  6. Lisa

    10 years Ago

    I cannot imagine that this is the case. SAIRR results seem to fly in the face of daily newspaper reports.

  7. Paul Chinchen

    10 years Ago

    Where is the evidence?

  8. amnon

    10 years Ago

    The full SAIRR press release (2 Dec 2009):

    Murder has declined by 30% since 1994/95, according to data released by the South African Institute of Race Relations.

    In 1994/95 there were 25 965 people murdered in South Africa. In 2008/09 there were 18 148 people murdered. This shows a decline of 30%, even though the population over the period has increased by 27%. This improvement in the most serious crime is not reflected in the perceptions of South Africans as in 2007 some 57 % felt that crime levels had increased.

    The number of murders peaked in 1995/96 when 26 877 people were murdered. Both the number of murders and the murder rate per 100 000 people have declined more or less steadily over the last 15 years.

    The recent release of the 2008/09 crime statistics has focused public attention on crime. With an average of nearly 50 people killed per day in 2008/09 the number of murders remains extremely high. However, the number has come down from an average of 71 murders per day in 1994/95.

    The rate of murders per 100 000 of the population has also decreased by 44% over the period from 70 per 100 000 in 1994/95 to 37 per 100 000 in 2008/09.

    A possible explanation for the decreasing murder rate but the continuing perception that all crime is increasing is that in the short term the change in the murder rate is minimal.

    The number of murders in 2008/09 only decreased by 1.8% from 2007/08 and the rate per 100 000 only decreased by 3.4%. Also, aggravated riouse robbery increased by 43% since 1994/95 with 121 392 cases reported in 2008/09. This type of violent crime, where armed criminals forcibly enter homes while people are in them, is likely to affect South Africans’ perceptions of crime levels as a whole.

    The police commissioner, Mr Bheki Cele, is calling for a tough, even militaristic response to crime. President Jacob Zuma has said that the police will now be known as the police force, rather than the police service, and police ranks may soon be re-militarised. However, the consistent decline in the murder rate shows that the police have achieved some success.

    While the decrease in the number of murders shows an improvement in violent crime levels, the general feeling is that crime is getting worse. Mr Kerwin Lebone, a researcher at the Institute, said that this response was not only due to the high crime levels, but also to the fact that these crime levels have remained high for an extended time.

  9. Pierre Labuschagne

    10 years Ago

    I sincerely doubt the accuracy of these figures when one reads the news papers every day, especially a day like today. Maybe there is less reporting on violent crimes as it became a standard daily report and doesn’t enjoy that much sensation any more?

  10. Rod

    10 years Ago

    If you believe those stats you’ll believe anything this government tells you

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