The crime statistics for South Africa 2018 has been released, and unfortunately it seems that the crime situation is not looking better.
The statistics refers to all the reported crimes between 1 April 2017 and March 2018. During this period a total of 2, 09 million crimes were recorded in 2018, which in total is lower that the 2,12 million that was recorded in 2017. This represents a drop in the number of reported crimes in the 17 public categories of 4,4%. The stats cover 21 crime categories, 17 of which are reported by the public, and four of which are as a result of police activity. It is important to understand that often in increase in reported crime statistics can be as a result of an increase in police operations and success. After all, a crime does not become a statistic unless the police find out about it. It is also interesting to note that crimes statistics are reported per charge, not per docket, and a single docket might include multiple charges. All crime stats include attempts, with the exception of murder and rape, as attempted murder and attempted rape are recorded separately.
If you would like a simplified version of the crime statistics, please visit the website of Crime Stats SA.
It is interesting to note that there is a dispute on the accuracy of the crime statistics released by the South African Police Service, reported by The Citizen: "Crime stats actually worse as ‘SAPS used wrong population figures’" According to an report written by Kate Wilkinson: "South Africa’s annual crime statistics provide important, useful information. But a calculation error in this year’s stats has skewed crime rates, and how much they have increased or decreased." For more information on the released report, please visit the website for Africa Check.org
DOWNLOAD THE CRIME STATISTICS DOCUMENT RELEASED FROM SAPS: DOWNLOAD
A Closer Look at the Crime Statistics
Police minister Bheki Cele told MPs that the crime statistics were "nothing to write home about".
"Crime stats are nothing to write home about… our emphasis is what should to be done‚ rather than the crime stats… the example I have all the time is it doesn’t matter what figures you put‚ if you cannot deal with murder cases it will not bring any joy to South Africans… on average 57 people are murdered a day‚ which brings us close to a war zone… yet we are not in war‚" Cele said.
Crime categories have seen a fluctuation in the number of increases and decreases for the various types of crimes. What is worrying however is when taking a closer look at the crime statistics, it does not paint a happy picture. As an example, murder rates have increased quite significantly with a growth to 7%. Over 20 000 cases were recorded in 2017/2018. To put those number into context, it reflects 57 murders a day in South Africa, at a rate of 35,7 people being murdered per 100 000 population. Cash-in-transit crime, which became notorious in the news headlines across the country in the past few months, climbed 57% referring to 238 cases recorded in the past year. This indicates a sharp increase from the 152 cases that were previously recorded. According to the South African Police Service, this category of crime is still trending upwards. The reported cases of rape has also increased to 40 035 cases in the past year. Overall, it seems that the worst violent crimes, are on the rise.
Crimes With the Biggest Percentage Increases
The South African reported on the crimes with the biggest percentage increases: The South African. They pointed out that bank robberies have seen a spike from 3 bank robberies that were reported in 2017 to 13 reported in 2018. This reflected an increase in bank robberies of 333,3%, however as they were fair to point out, it should be seen in context. Thirteen incidents of bank robberies pale in comparison to the high number of cash-in-transit heists which increased from 152 in 2017 to 238 in 2018, which is an increase of 56,6%. What makes this statistic even more daunting is the fact that many of the cash-in-transit heists that occurred lately was not taken into account in the updated statistics, as it falls under the timeline for the next annual report. The murder rate has seen an increase of 6,9%.
Stock theft has increased with 7,2%, while driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs has increased to 14,8%. Overall the increase in 'drug related' crimes has seen in increase up to 10,5%.
There is some good news to the crime statistics however as robbery at residential premises has decreased with 0.4%, carjacking has decreased to 2,3%, and common robbery as well as the theft of cars or motorbikes are both down to 5%.
Protect Your Company and Your Staff
One important aspect of the crime statistics in South Africa is the message that it sends to businesses and companies. An increase and violent crimes and drug related offences indicates that it is today more important than ever to ensure that your company has the right protection mechanisms in place to safeguard your company, your staff members and your clients. Taking a proactive stance against criminal activity is a responsibility that every company needs to accept, not only for themselves, but as a means of combating crime on a macro-level. Although the knee-jerk reaction would be to buy more cameras, install higher fences and to use a bigger lock, the fact is that all of the commonly used security technologies available today can for the most part be circumvented if a company does not address one of the most important core components of the business, the employees.
A thousand security cameras looking at one gate will all go blind if the person monitoring the cameras looks the other way.
The crime statistics in South Africa has again placed the spotlight on how companies manage unethical and criminal behaviour in the workplace.
Pre-Employment Job Seeker Screenings
Pre-employment screenings are one of the most important, fundamental even, means of protecting a business and the people working in the business. Do you really know who you are inviting into your business? The PISA Integrity Assessment Centre offers a variety of pre-employment screening tools, including criminal record vetting, qualifications vetting, fraud vetting, and many more. A proper background vetting program is however only the first step in managing unethical activities at the place of work, which is why we also offer comprehensive pre-employment polygraph examinations, Converus EyeDetect testing and psychometric assessments to provide companies with a holistic approach at selecting the right staff members to promote growth in your company, and curb criminal activity.
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Integrity Management Programs
The main premise of an integrity management program is to combine positive reinforcement and employee development while actively monitoring for criminal and unethical behaviour. Such a program consists of a pre-employment screening component designed to assist a company in selecting the best candidate for a position. By actively screening applicants prior to employment the company mitigates the possible risk of employing person prone to criminal or unethical behaviour.
The second component consists of continuous integrity management polygraph screenings combined with an annual workshop. The integrity management workshop consists of an interactive presentation regarding honesty and integrity, the role that it plays in a company and the responsibility of all staff members to actively participate in promoting an honest and ethical environment. Staff members are also given the opportunity to present their ideas on how to improve safety, security and integrity at the company and are instructed by the company on which steps to implement if they do discover unethical or criminal behaviour. Much like fire drills and safety drills, an integrity management workshop can play a crucial role in helping staff members to act quickly and decisively when encountering a risk situation.
Continuous integrity management polygraph examinations can be implemented on a timed basis and can occur once or twice a year depending on the needs of the company. The questions posed during the examination is dependent on the position of the staff member or identified risk areas in a company.
How Can We Help You?
Do not hesitate to contact the PISA Integrity Assessment Centre and let our years of experience work for you. Whether you would like to make a booking, ask for a consultation or would like more information on how our multitude of products and service can benefit your business, we are ready and eager to assist in any way we can.
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