From the news desk

Riah’s most important figures on crime

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Police Minister Nathi Nhleko and national police commissioner General Riah Phiyega on Tuesday released crime statistics for 2014/2015. Here are some interesting figures provided by Phiyega:

1. Approximately 5.3 million firearms are accounted for by around 2.4 million owners. “These figures include 61 162 naturalised foreign nationals in possession of 90 083 firearms. Over the past three financial years, we have issued 296 315 individual and business firearm licenses. We have destroyed 108 257 firearms over the past three years alone.

2. She said that police were still struggling to stem the surge of money moved illegally out of the country – in the review period a total of R10.8bn was illegally transferred.

3. Police found themselves in the firing line during the reporting period. “There have been 1 537 attacks on police this year and 86 murders. This is a very serious concern in terms of investment of training and experience. The Western Cape is having the most attacks with 645 attacks and 21 murders; we rely on the province to help tackle this. KZN shows 326 attacks and 11 murders. In Gauteng, for this period, 132 officers were attacked and 19 killed.”

4. Turning to protest action, especially considering that she faces scrutiny over the Marikana massacre, Phiyega noted that the number of incidents had risen. “12 451 peaceful protests were recorded for this year in review and 2 289 violent protests for this year [last year it was 1 907 violent protests].”

5. “Police arrested 1.7 million people through crime prevention and related operations. We recovered 36 186 reported lost/stolen vehicles.”

6. All of the drug raids went down like this: “In the fight against drugs, we have confiscated 440 269 288kg of dagga, 1 926 256kg of nyaope, 304 865kg of whoonga and 598 743kg of tik. Fifty-seven clandestine drug labs were dismantled, of which 31 were hydroponic and 26 were synthetic chemical labs.

7. On wayward police officers: “We are not letting our foot off the pedal in terms of police criminality and have arrested 686 officers for this past year alone.” News24


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