Increase in domestic violence as lockdown continues

Police Minister Bheki Cele recently revealed that a year-on-year analysis of South Africa’s crime statistics shows a big decrease in violent crime during the national coronavirus lockdown.

Murders declined from 326 to 94, assaults declined from 2,673 to 456, rapes decreased from 699 to 101 and hijacking, business robberies, and house robberies declined from 8,853 to 2,098.

Cele welcomed the decrease in serious and violent crimes, attributing this to, amongst other factors, the prohibition of the sale and movement of liquor.

One exception is domestic abuse and gender-based violence, where the number of complaints remained high.

Cele revealed that over 2,300 gender-based violence complaints were registered between 27 March 2020 and 31 March 2020.

Private security company feedback

Bull Security operations manager French Jooste said they have seen the same as the stats which Cele shared.

He said incidents drastically dropped since lockdown started. “We have seen a massive decrease in serious crimes like armed house robberies and armed robberies overall,” said Jooste.

This is echoed by RSS CEO Brett Fisher, who told MyBroadband that burglaries, theft, and armed robberies have decreased in residential suburbs and estates after the lockdown.

Fisher said more people are staying at home because of the lockdown, which is one of the main reasons for the decrease in criminal activity.

Increase in domestic violence and other crimes

While most violent crimes decreased, there has been an increase in reports related to domestic violence.

Jooste said they have noted an increase in domestic violence calls since the lockdown started.

Fisher said RSS Security has also received a high number of complaints regarding domestic violence during the lockdown.

He added that they are also receiving more complaints about neighbours not getting on, excessive noise, and people not staying indoors.

Jooste echoed Fisher’s feedback, saying most of their current calls consist of community members reporting people that are not abiding by the lockdown rules.

Now read: Big decline in crime since the lockdown started

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Increase in domestic violence as lockdown continues