Lockdown

South Africa experienced some decline in many different crimes between July and September because of the national lockdown meant to combat COVID-19, said South Africa’s Minister of the Police Bheki Cele on Friday while releasing the quarterly crime statistics.

“Between July and September 2020, 5,107 people were murdered in South Africa. This meant 339 fewer people were killed, compared to the same period last year,” Cele said, “We know that the decreases were largely attributed to the fact that the country was at the time under Lockdown level 4 and level 3.”

According to statistics, all contact crimes decreased by 11.6 percent, property-related crimes dropped by 18.7 percent and sexual offenses by 16.8 percent.

However, Cele pointed out that following a lull in criminal activity during the hard national COVID-19 lockdown, figures began to rise as restrictions were eased between July and September. Cele warned that as the festive season approaching, criminals are trying to make up for the time lost during the “crime holiday” experienced during the lockdown.

“This is demonstrated by the increase in the country’s most feared crimes, which are residential robberies,” he said, “While many citizens are still working from home due to the Nationwide Lockdown, incidents of home invasions have increased by 8.5 percent.”

He expressed concern that there was a 60 percent increase in cash in transit (CIT) crimes during the period under review.

“The fact that this quarter recorded 24 cases more of the CIT’s than the comparable previous quarter period in this crime, it means more can and must be done to infiltrate these gangs and bring CIT robberies to its knees,” he said.

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