More women and children are falling victim to crimes in South Africa, according to a police report presented to Parliament on Wednesday.
Over the past six months, almost 7,500 more women and children were victims of crime, compared to the same time last year, said the report compiled by the South African Police Service (SAPS).
The report showed that crimes against women increased by 12.1 percent between April and June and 2.9 percent between July and September, compared to the same periods last year.
Crimes against children went up by 14.5 percent between April and June and 7.5 percent between July and September, compared to the same months last year, according to the report.
The SAPS report came seven days after Police Minister Fikile Mbalula told lawmakers that South Africa has seen a rise in violent crimes in the 2016/2017 financial year, with murders and aggravated robberies up 1.8 percent and 6.4 percent respectively.
Mbalula criticized “lazy police” for failing to tackle crime and letting the people down.
Responding to the SAPS report on Wednesday, the opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) said police should provide women and children with the same kind of protection they provide VIPs.
“It is unacceptable that those entrusted with our safety and security seem to be so efficient at protecting the elite but fail so miserably at protecting the country’s most vulnerable,” the DA said.
Statistics show that a woman is killed every eight hours in South Africa. More than 1,000 women are killed by intimate partners each year.
Intimate-partner femicide, which is the most serious form of domestic violence, is the leading cause of murder of women in South Africa.
A study by the South African Medical Research Council showed that the vast majority of female homicides went unpunished, with less than 38 percent of intimate-partner femicides leading to conviction in less than two years. Enditem