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Increase in violent crime a trend, not anomaly: ISS

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The upward shift in the number of incidents of violent crime in the country is now a trend and not an anomaly, the Institute for Security Studies (ISS) said on Tuesday.

“We are well into three years of some of the most serious and violent crimes increasing,” the ISS’s Gareth Newham told reporters in a telephone conference.

“It is not a spike, it is a fundamental increase, and it shows the nature of violence is increasing. That is something that should really start causing alarm bells.”

The crime statistics for 2014/15 released earlier on Tuesday showed that murder had increased by 4.6%, robbery with aggravating circumstances increased by 8.5%, carjacking by 14.2% and robbery at residential premises by 5.2%.

Newham agreed with Police Minister Nathi Nhleko, who said at the release of the statistics to Parliament’s portfolio committee that murders were not easily reduced by policing.

But Newham said a large number of murders were a result of robberies.

“There is a growing number of people organising themselves to commit crime,” he said.

Newham said better crime intelligence and clear-cut strategies were needed to combat crime syndicates and the aggravated robbery rate.

While there was a drop in total sexual offences (5.4%), what people were most concerned about was rape and attempted rape.

“We need to be able to see what the actual… trend is.”

Newham said there was a significant drop in the number of women reporting rape to the police.

“We do not see that reduction [in total sexual offences] as a positive thing. It is deeply concerning,” he said.

“When you see reductions in reporting rates of categories it is likely an indicator of declining trust in the police.”

He said there was, however, an increase in the reporting rate for carjacking. News24

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