Limpopo’s people could not be blamed for increasingly feeling at risk where their safety is concerned, when considering the bleak picture sketched by the 2017/2018 crime statistics released by Police Minister Bheke Cele on Tuesday.
Murder cases in Limpopo have shot up by more than 10%, while an increase of 26,9% in sexual assault cases provides an equally worrisome shocker. Limpopo’s statistics further show the highest increase in robbery at residential premises and robbery at non-residential premises across the country.
The statistics hint at light at the end of the tunnel, though, where inroads with regard to crimes detected as a result of action by the Limpopo Police showed the highest increase in South Africa at a figure of 36,8%.
The breakdown of provincial statistics and those for stations in the city and immediate surrounds is as follows:
The murder rate in Limpopo is up by 98 cases compared to the same period a year ago, increasing by 12,1% from 813 to 911 recorded incidents.
At Polokwane station 61,5% more murders were recorded during the period under review, translating to eight more cases than the previous year and rising from 13 to 21 murders the past year. In Mankweng the murder rate has increased by 31% from 29 to 38 incidents. In Seshego murder has gone up 29,8% from 47 to 61 such cases. In Westenburg the murder rate has, however, dropped by 34,6% during the same period.
The provincial statistics have increased by 6,6%, from 829 cases last year during the same period to 884 the past 12 months. The figures for Seshego policing area are down by 40% from 45 cases to 27, Mankweng’s decreased by 7,1% from 28 to 26 and Westenburg by 9,1% from 22 to 20.
Polokwane Police figures on attempted murder have increased 13,3% from 15 to 17 incidents during the period under review.
Provincial figures have dropped by 0,6% from 3 321 incidents to 3 301 cases the past year.
Reported rape case statistics in Seshego have seemingly increased by 4,9% from 144 to 151 incidents, Mankweng dropped by 17% from 200 to 166 occurrences, Polokwane cases have gone down by 12,1% from 33 to 29 and cases in Westenburg are down by 31,3% from 48 to 33 incidents.
Contact sexual offences
Provincially the statistics are down by 12,5% from 72 to 63 cases during the past year. In Polokwane and Westenburg policing areas such incidents have plummeted by 100% from 2 to zero cases and from 3 to zero incidents respectively, in Seshego policing have decreased by 33,3% from 6 to 4 incidents. In Mankweng statistics have shown one case higher from zero to 1 incident over th same period.
Sexual assault is of equal concern in Limpopo, having risen with 26,3% provincially the past year. Mankweng Police station figures thus far top the charts across the province with a 120% increase from 5 to 11 cases while Westenburg Police station recorded a 71,4% increase from 7 to 12 incidents. Polokwane Police had to cope with an increase of 66,7% in sexual assault cases rising from 9 to 15.
Sexual offences detected as a result of Police action
Cases of this nature have shown a 92,8% increase across Limpopo the past year. In comparison the figure has risen from 698 to 1 346. Seshego Police Station has recorded zero such cases while one case has been registered in Mankweng over the same period. In Westenburg 51 more cases were reported the past year, translating to a 182,1% increase from 28 to 79 matters. Polokwane statistics have increased by 355% from 20 to 91 registered cases.
Cases of assault with the intent to inflict grievous bodily harm in Limpopo have shown a 7,3% decrease from 12 948 to 12 005 cases during the past year. All stations in the city and immediate surrounds have shown an increase in recorded cases. Seshego stands at 1,7% increase from 747 to 760. Mankweng figures depict a 2,3% increase from 654 to 669 cases. Polokwane figures have increased by 16,3% from 129 to 150 reported incidents. Westenburg has shown a 20,1% increase from 139 to 167 cases.
In Limpopo these matters have decreased by 10,2% from 8 373 to 7 519 cases during the year under review. In Seshego an increase of 3,8% has been recorded in such cases up from 477 to 495, while in Mankweng a decrease has been registered at 13,8% down from 506 to 436, Polokwane a decrease of 20,2% from 321 incidents to 256 such cases and in Westenburg a 7,9% decrease from 203 cases to 187 cases.
Cases of cash-in-transit heists made for a 40% increase from ten to 14 cases provincially over the past year. In Seshego two cases had been recorded, in Mankweng one while zero incidents were reported in Polokwane and Westenburg the past 12 months.
Across Limpopo cases relating to car-jacking have shot up by 27,2% from 459 to 584 reported cases the past year. In Seshego it has increased by 200% from 8 to 24, in Westenburg by 54,5% from 11 to 17 cases and in Mankweng 15,4% from 13 to 15. In Polokwane car-jackings have gone down by 42,9% from 14 to 8 cases during the last year.
Robbery with aggravating circumstances
The provincial figure stands at a 4,5% increase from 6 745 cases to 7 048 incidents. The hottest spot in the area is Seshego with an increase of 9,2% in such matters that result in 36 more cases than last year’s 393 reported instances. In Polokwane matters stand at a decrease of 30,9% from 404 to 279 cases recorded the past 12 months.
Robberies at residential, business premises
Robberies at residential premises in Limpopo have gone up by 26,2% while at non-residential premises it has also increased by 4,1% across the province. The hotspots in this instance are Seshego with non-residential robberies at 147,1% while a 50,9% increase has been recorded in robberies at residential premises in the area. Mankweng non-residential premises have been hit hard by a 39,7% increase. Robberies at residential premises in Westenburg are up with 42,5%. Polokwane policing area shows a 0% increase.
In Limpopo common robberies have shown a 12,1% decrease from 3 228 to 2 839 cases. The figure at stations in the city and immediate surrounds have gone down when compared to last year’s statistics, varying between 3,7% in Seshego and 31,4% in Polokwane.
Burglaries at business premises across the province have taken a plunge by a total 7,8% from 7 288 to 6 716 incidents the past year. In Seshego such cases have increased by 58,5% from 164 to 260. All other stations in and around the city have shown a decrease though, with Polokwane Station recording cases at a 15,3% from 450 to 381, Westenburg Station a 22,3% decrease from 139 to 108 and Mankweng Station a 20,5% decrease from 219 to 174.
Possession of illegal firearms and ammunition
Possession of illegal firearms and ammunition cases in the province have gone up by 20,1% from 533 to 640. Polokwane cases have shot up by 40% from 10 to 14, Seshego by 19% from 21 to 25 cases and Mankweng by 9,5% from 21 to 23 incidents while Westenburg figures have gone down by 15,8% from 19 to 16 such cases.
Incidents related to drug abuse and trade across Limpopo have shot up by 36,1% from 14 393 to 19 592 during the period under review. The highest increase recorded at stations in the city and immediate surrounds the past year has been in Mankweng at 63,6% with 382 to 625 cases. Westenburg policing area has shown an increase of 55,9% in such incidents with 236 to 368 cases. Polokwane Police Station figures show a 36,8% increase from 720 to 985. In Seshego an increase of 26,3% has been recorded from 540 to 682 cases reported.
Driving under the influence of alcohol/drugs
Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs cases in the province have gone up by 28,6% from 4 420 to 5 684 cases having been registered over the past 12 months. The only decrease in such cases in the city and immediate surrounds has been within the Seshego policing area where a 1,9% rate was recorded, as cases dropped from 161 to 158. In Mankweng matters looked different with a 22,1% increase from 204 to 249 such incidents recorded. In Polokwane 25,7% increase was registered from 323 cases to 406 incidents the past year. In Westenburg a 34,5% increase resulted in an earlier 142 cases shooting up to 191 during the last 12-month cycle.