• Have you ever taught about your car’s safety when you are involved in a vehicle crash? Will you and your loved ones be protected in as far as it is possible? Refer to the article published on pp 14 -16 in Servamus: January 2020 to determine the NCAP safety rating of many cars on SA’s roads.

    Have you ever taught about your car’s safety when you are involved in a vehicle crash? Will you and your loved ones be protected in as far as it is possible? Refer to the article published on pp 14 -16 in Servamus: January 2020 to determine the NCAP safety rating of many cars on SA’s roads.

  • We all have a responsibility to create a safer world for our children – that includes on our roads. Sadly, vehicle crashes are some of the leading causes for child deaths. Walk This Way is a ChildSafe intervention project that aims to address child pedestrian safety – refer to the article in Servamus: January 2020 on pp 34-35 giving more details.

    We all have a responsibility to create a safer world for our children – that includes on our roads. Sadly, vehicle crashes are some of the leading causes for child deaths. Walk This Way is a ChildSafe intervention project that aims to address child pedestrian safety – refer to the article in Servamus: January 2020 on pp 34-35 giving more details.

  • Many people opt to go on a boat cruise for a holiday. Yet, there are many aspects that can affect the passengers and crew’s safety necessitating such cruise liners to have adequately trained security personnel. Refer to the article in Servamus: January 2020 on pp 30-32 about what is done to mitigate treats to such cruise liners.

    Many people opt to go on a boat cruise for a holiday. Yet, there are many aspects that can affect the passengers and crew’s safety necessitating such cruise liners to have adequately trained security personnel. Refer to the article in Servamus: January 2020 on pp 30-32 about what is done to mitigate treats to such cruise liners.

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The story behind the numbers needs to be taken seriously and action needs to be taken
By Annalise Kempen

Each year in September when police management releases the annual crime statistics for the previous financial year, we have come to expect more of the same bad news. One can almost compare it to ordering food at a restaurant: you know what you will be getting, but the question is whether the quality of the food will live up to your expectations. When South Africa's crime statistics are released each year, we are in a similar position since we are prepared that whatever the police will be telling us, is likely not to be good news. This is in part because we are continuously bombarded by news about crime on various platforms and also because many of us have either experienced crime first-hand as victims or as first responders to violent crime scenes.

This year, our article will not focus on the cold crime statistics that were released on 12 September 2019. Although we note that murder has increased with 3.4% to 21 022 cases and cash-in-transit (CIT) robberies have shown a drastic decrease of 23.1% for the period 1 April 2018 to 31 March 2019, our focus will be on what is done with the crime reports and the data that are generated within each policing precinct.

This refocussing on the way we present crime statistics come from the fact that, if we were to analyse the so-called top 20 police stations where violent crime is committed, the storyline is similar every year (with a few new characters). Almost anyone with an interest in crime analysis will be able to highlight that the police stations where the highest murder rates are recorded are mainly located on the Cape Flats (Nyanga, Delft, Khayelitsha) and in KwaZulu-Natal (Umlazi and Inanda). The question is: if a similar pattern has been emerging for many years, why have specific interventions not been launched to identify and address the root causes of violent crime? And if such interventions have been launched, why have they not been successful? A further analysis of the 21 022 murders that have been committed during the reporting period shows that 4313 of those murders were committed in 30 policing precincts which means that 20% of the total number of murders committed in South Africa during the reporting year were committed in 3% of all of South Africa’s police station areas. Faull (2019) reminds us that during the 2016/2017 reporting year, 13% or 148 police stations recorded 50% of all murders. This informs us that if we prioritise the potential contributing factors to serious violent crime in these policing precincts, we would probably be able to make a significant impact on the high murder rate.

The issue of under-reporting
Crime statistics are mostly interpreted as a numbers game by using the number of cases reported to the SAPS and/or registered by the SAPS. For the 2018/2019 reporting year (1 April 2018 to 31 March 2019), 1 673 990 serious crime types in 17 categories were reported to the SAPS (83.1%), and an additional 339 281 crimes were detected as a result of police action (16.9%).

If these figures are compared with the information provided in the Governance, Public Safety and Justice Survey (GPSJS): Victims of Crime (VoC) 2018/2019 that was released by Stats SA on 3 October 2019, it is evident that the under-reporting of crime remains a concern. Although the latest official crime statistics paint a dark picture, the VoC reminds us that if the crimes which were not reported to the SAPS had formed part of the SAPS's statistics, the picture would be worse. This is clear from a comparison between the SAPS’s statistics and the VoC survey in only a few crime categories.

According to the 2018/2019 VoC, an estimated 1 345 196 housebreaking incidents occurred, which affected 969 567 or 5.8% of households in South Africa. About 48% of households that experienced housebreaking reported it to the police. The total number of households that reported housebreaking to the police is estimated to be 467 599. However, this estimate is significantly greater than the number of burglaries at residential premises reported in the 2018/2019 SAPS crime statistics, namely 220 865.

According to the SAPS’s latest statistics, 22 431 house robberies were reported, compared to an estimated 264 054 incidents of home robberies, affecting 183 998 (1.1%) households according to the 2018/2019 VoC. The latter survey reveals that approximately 60% of households that experienced house robbery reported it to the police. The total number of households that reported house robbery to the police is estimated to be 110 203.

The theft of motor vehicles also showed significant differences to the SAPS’s official statistics where the latter statistics indicate that 48 324 cases were reported to the SAPS. The 2018/2019 VoC revealed that this crime was experienced by 68 030 (0.4%) households in 2018/2019. About 86% of households that experienced theft of motor vehicles reported the crime to the police. The higher reporting rate could be linked to the requirement to have a police case (CAS) number for short-term insurance purposes.

Understanding violence
Much has been written about why South Africans experience so much violent crime. Reasons including socio-economic challenges, political instability, economic inequality and the violence that has been used by both the state and liberation movements during apartheid years are often being cited as key contributors to creating a culture of violence. Interestingly, few other African countries that are not in a state of war, experience as much violence as South Africa. For example, according to Kenya's Annual Crime Report for 2018, a total of 88 268 crimes were reported for the report year, versus more than 1.6 million crimes in South Africa. (Kenya has a population of 52.8 million compared to South Africa's 58.5 million (http://worldpopulationreview.com/countries/).) Murder is regarded as one of the best crime categories for comparison purposes: Kenya reflected a tenth of the number of murders in 2018 namely 2015 murders, compared to what South Africa experienced, namely 21 022. It therefore does not come as a surprise that other violent crime categories in Kenya also showed significantly lower levels compared to those in South Africa. For example: 979 rape cases were recorded in Kenya compared to 42 583 rape cases in South Africa; and 2905 robbery cases (including carjacking) were recorded in Kenya, compared to a total of 59 817 robbery cases in South Africa during the same reporting period.

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[This is only an extract of an article published in Servamus: November 2019 from pp 10-13. The rest of the article continues to “explaining” violence as well as the importance of mapping crime and sharing information/statistics. We share comments about the latest crime statistics and try to find some solutions. A related article that explains the hard facts about the latest crime statistics is published on p 14-15. If you are interested in obtaining the rest of these articles, send an e-mail to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or phone (012) 345 4660 to find out how. Ed.]

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Servamus - January 2020

It is just after 05:00 in a cold, windy and rainy Cape Town when the packed train pulls onto platform three.
By Kotie Geldenhuys
One of the very sad consequences of every holiday season is the high number of vehicle crashes happening on our roads - not only resulting in people losing loved ones, but also leaving many drivers and passengers seriously injured or even disabled.
By Annalise Kempen
A lot is being said and written about vehicle fitness and road-worthiness, but what about your own fitness to drive a vehicle?
By Annalise Kempen
In South Africa, fatalities due to vehicle crashes are a major contributor to unnatural deaths impacting negatively on our economic development and growth.
By Kotie Geldenhuys

Pollex - January 2020

Read More - S V Nkosinathi Gama Review No: R40/2019 dated 19 July 2019 (FB)*; S V Bam 2019(2) SACR 662 (FB)*; and S V Phuzi 2019(2) SACR 648 (FB)*
Section 59 of the National Road Traffic Act 93 of 1996 (“the NRTA”) provides as follows:
Read More – Moyo and Another V Minister of Police and Others; Sonti and Another V Minister of Police and Others (CCT 174/18; CCT 178/18) [2019] ZACC 40 (22 October 2019) (CC)
Introduction Certain provisions of the Intimidation Act 72 of 1982 were recently referred to our Constitutional Court (“the Concourt”) in order to challenge their constitutionality.

Letters - January 2020

We salute Brig Mauritz "Happy" Schutte who was born on 4 September 1951, but was called for higher duties to be with his Lord and Saviour, our God Almighty on 9 October 2019, succumbing to the illness of cancer.
There is talk of forcing pension onto members at the age of 55, with no talk of any adjustments for the Public Service Act employees who can still build pension up to the age of 65.
January Magazine Cover

Servamus' Mission

Servamus is a community-based safety and security magazine for both members of the community as well as safety and security practitioners with the aim of increasing knowledge and sharing information, dedicated to improving their expertise, professionalism and service delivery standards. It promotes sound crime management practices, freedom of speech, education, training, information sharing and a networking platform.