Cele: 2019 was 'safest festive season'

Cele: 2019 was 'safest festive season'

Police Minister Bheki Cele has declared the 2019 festive season the safest yet.

Bheki Cele - GCIS

Cele released the South African Police Services (SAPS) Safer Festive Season report in Durban on Tuesday.


The minister said he was particularly impressed by the drop of 10% in the number of sexual offences against women and children.


"All crimes within the contact crime category decreased, apart from common assault and robbery with aggravating circumstances. Women and children were also safer this festive season, with sexual offences, which includes crimes such as rapes, sexual assault and attempted sexual offences, decreased by 9.9%," said Cele.


The festive season kicked off in October and wrapped up in January.


According to crime statistics, the national murder rate during this period declined by 1.4%; vehicles and stock theft decreased by 10.2%.


Close to 5000 firearms were also confiscated.


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The minister applauded the men and women in blue for the work done over the festive period.


"I have no doubt this great organisation is full of dedicated and committed men and women and the festive season successes are evidence of their hard work," Cele said.


"I can assure you, all officers in all corners of the country were hard at work, giving criminals sleepless nights."


He admitted however that several areas remain a concern.


"With all these decreasing numbers, I am aware that there are still some stubborn crimes that need urgent intervention and resources. While 388 suspects have been arrested for car high-jacking during this period. There were more carjacking and truck high-jacking cases during the 2019 festive season period, which increased by 11% and 9.0% respectively."

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