Reduced business sector crime figures support the National Crime Statistics

October 2011 News

Business Against Crime South Africa (BACSA) and its associated business partners, welcomes the overall improvement in the national crime statistics released by the Minister of Police, Nathi Mthethwa.

Dr Graham Wright, CEO of BACSA, states: “The overall reduction of 5% in serious crime continues the downward trend evident in the previous year. This year-on-year reduction is, in our view, the consequence of systematic improvements in the Criminal Justice System and improved policing, which have had a sustained effect on crime levels beyond South Africa’s hosting of the FIFA World Cup. An additional factor contributing to the overall reduction in crime is the impact of the structured partnerships, which government has embraced with both civil society and business.”

BACSA welcomes the lower levels of serious and violent crime, especially the 6,9% reduction in contact crime, and the associated improvements in the following sub-categories: murder, attempted murder, sexual offences, assault – grievous bodily harm, common assault, common robbery and robbery aggravating. Whilst BACSA acknowledges that much still needs to be done to reduce these further to acceptable levels, it is clear that the country is moving in the right direction and that the strategies employed are appropriate.

The business community congratulates the police and the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) on their efforts to deal with many of the serious crimes affecting business. The systematic improvement in visible policing, detection and operational response, as well as actions taken by business to improve crime prevention and security, have had a direct impact on the levels of business robberies and burglaries – according to business information, both of these are significantly down, both in terms of number of incidents and cash losses. Furthermore, information from the vehicle tracking and recovery companies, as well as the short-term insurance industry shows that the business community has experienced a significant reduction in both motor vehicle thefts and hijackings (see the table for details).

Consolidated statistics from the business community*, for the period April 2010 to March 2011, compared with the same period the previous year, indicate a close correlation with the national crime trends, although the number of incidents experienced by organised business is a relatively small percentage of the total crimes. The trends are, however, indicative.

The table provides consolidated crime statistics from the business sector.

Despite the improvements, BACSA nevertheless remains concerned about the continued high level of ATM bombings and cable theft. Business robberies targeting cash remains a challenge, with the modus operandi of criminals and targets changing according to levels of vulnerability and opportunity. For this reason, BACSA emphasises improved cash management practices and is adapting some of the best practices from organised business for use within the small business arena.

BACSA and its business partners remain fully committed to supporting the police and the Justice Crime Prevention and Security Cluster in the on-going fight against crime. Through this partnership we will continue to leverage business’s capacity to strengthen the Criminal Justice System and to drive collective anti-crime efforts as well as practical industry-wide programmes.

For more information contact Business Against Crime South Africa, +27 (0)82 573 4678, [email protected],

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