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A shocking increase in child murders has been recorded by the police. Picture: 123RF/ARTITI OUBKAEW
A shocking increase in child murders has been recorded by the police. Picture: 123RF/ARTITI OUBKAEW

The murder rate against children increased by 22.6% quarter to quarter, MPs heard on Friday when the SA Police Service released the latest crime statistics for the period between October and the end of December last year.

Attempted murder of children increased 30% year-on-year and 39.2% quarter-on-quarter. The data categorises children as being between the ages of 0 to 17 years.

There was an 8.9% increase in murder overall and a 3.5% increase in attempted murder compared with the previous year. There was an 11.3% increase in murder from the second quarter of 2021/22 to date.

“This means almost 75 people were murdered every day in the third quarter,” DA MP Okkie Terblanche said.

Attempted murder also increased from the second to third quarters by 9.46%.

Commenting on gender-based violence (GBV)  crimes, Terblanche said the data showed the murder rate against women increased by 4.2% year-on-year and attempted murder by 7.2%.

“From October to December 2021, 11,315 rapes were reported, while 902 women were murdered, 1,204 were nearly killed, and 15,692 were assaulted,” he said.

“That same period saw 352 child murders, 394 attempted murders, and 2,048 children assaulted.”

Terblanche contrasted this with fewer police on the beat. He said the latest available police-to-population ratio from the 2020/21 annual report stated there is only one police officer for every 413 civilians. The ratio has dropped year-by-year from 1:358 in 2014/15 to 1:375 in 2017/18.

Worryingly, he said, the police budget is set to be cut by R11bn over the next three years.

“None of this bodes well for South Africans who continue to become ever more vulnerable.”

According to police data, the stations that recorded the most community-reported serious crimes by volume are:

  1. Cape Town central.
  2. Honeydew, Gauteng.
  3. Johannesburg central.
  4. Durban central.
  5. Park Road, Free State.
  6. Phoenix, KwaZulu-Natal.
  7. Rustenburg, North West.
  8. Mitchells Plain, Western Cape.
  9. Temba, Gauteng.
  10. Randfontein, Gauteng.

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