Gauteng saw drop in serious crimes during lockdown - police

Gauteng saw drop in serious crimes during lockdown - police

Police in Gauteng claim criminals changed their modus operandi during the Covid-19 lockdown. 

Police arrests

Acting provincial commissioner Patricia Rampota presented the province’s 2020/21 second-quarter crime statistics to the legislature’s Portfolio Committee on Community Safety on Tuesday. 

Rampota told the committee that criminals found new ways to bypass the system.  

But even though the lockdown impacted crime fighting efforts in the province, Rampota said police were still able to stay on top of crime-fighting efforts. 

The latest stats show a drop of 16% in the 17 serious crime incidents.  

This translates to 18 417 less cases reported between July and September 2020. 

“Although Covid-19 was a game changer in terms for arresting suspects for this crime category, due to lockdown regulations where criminals changed their modus operandi, good work was still done due to intelligence-driven and integrated interventions by the SAPS, the metro police departments, provincial traffic and other law enforcement agencies,” Rampota said. 

Gauteng recorded 10% less murders between July and September, attempted murder dropped by 2.2%, common robbery dropped by 13%, gender-based violence dropped by 10% and other sexual offenses dropped by 12.2%. 

Business robberies across the province also decreased by more than 13% but cash in transit robberies spiked by 10.7%. 

“Gauteng recorded one bank robbery during the reporting period.” 

She warned that the easing of restrictions caused a spike in some crimes.  

“The limited movement of persons and traffic, as well as the prohibition of selling of alcohol as per the nationwide lockdown imposed as a result of Covid-19 global pandemic,  and as restriction were eased so did the opportunities to commit crime did also increase,” Rampota added.  

Last week Police Minister Bheki Cele announced the national second-quarter crime statistics. 

Cele said that the decrease across different crimes was largely due to the Covid-19 lockdown. 

Although there has a been decrease in some serious crimes, Cele said the period was not without its problems.

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