The Crime Statistics for South Africa were released yesterday. These crime numbers are not anything to be proud of – and remain much too high – but there are some positives that we might be able to reflect upon!
Crime in South Africa by the numbers
There were several declines in the crimes reported and recorded:
• The murder rate has showed its largest decline since 1995, falling below 17 000 for the past year.
• There were 16 894 murders in the year ended March 31, compared to the 18 148 murdered the previous year, representing a 7.2% drop in absolute numbers and 8.6% in the murder ratio to 34.1 murders per 100 000 South Africans.
• The number of attempted murders dropped by 4.9%, from 18 298 cases to 17 410 cases.
• Sexual crimes, which now include the rape of men and pornography, fell 4.4% to 68 332 cases and resulted in 26 311 arrests.
• A total of 64 670 people were the victims of street robberies, a drop of 10.4% on the previous year.
Unfortunately there were increases in house and business robberies of 1.9 and 4.4% respectively.
Vehicle related crimes and Car Insurance
For the purposes of the Car Insurance Blog we need to place a special focus on vehicle related crimes:
• There were 13 902 car hijackings, which represented a 6.8% decline on the previous year.
• Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal were the worst affected with 7 444 and 3 715 cases respectively.
• Both provinces showed decreases compared to the previous year, of 2.8% and 8.5% respectively.
Also important is to not that there were decreases were in cash-in-transit heists, down 7.3%, with 52 arrests, and bank robberies, down 8.8%. Many vehicle owners are at risk when these criminals disregard the Rules of the Road in their efforts to get away from the scene of the crime…
Drug Related crimes, Road Safety and Car Insurance
Drivers also face the risks of accidents and car insurance claims when they share the roads with other drivers who are intoxicated or under the influence of drugs. It is alarming and a cause for concern to find that drug related crimes have increased:
• Drug-related crimes went up by 17 668 cases to a total of 134,840, with 44.8% of them in the Western Cape. In 2004 there were 62 689 drug-related offences.
• Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol also increased with 62 939 cases, against 56 156 last year.
These numbers are closely scrutinized by actuaries at insurance companies. They will consider these numbers and pay close attention to the statistics for each region and build this into the model to calculate car insurance premiums.
We can be cautiously optimistic that favourable numbers to be achieved through more effective law enforcement could apply the breaks to fast rising car insurance premiums!!