South Africa’s nationwide lockdown has proven effective in not only stemming the spread of the coronavirus but also reducing the country’s crime rate.
As the country spends its last week in alert level 5 lockdown, crime statistics reflect a 72% decrease in reported murder cases as well as an 82% decrease in reported rape cases.
According to Police Minister Bheki Cele the significant drop in crime can be attributed to the increased visibility due to SANDF deployment and the prohibition of alcohol sales.
Along with the reduced rape and murder cases, crime statistics released comparing last year March 29 to April 22 and this year March 27 to April 20, have showed a number of benefits to the lockdown.
Attempted murder cases dropped from 1300 to 443, rape cases fell from 2908 to 371, assault GBV cases decrease from 11 876 to 1758 and aggravated robberies fell from 6654 to 2022.
Other crimes that decreased include carjacking (80.9% decrease), robbery at non-residential premises (65.5% decrease) and robbery at residents premises (decreased by 53.8%).
Contrary to original reports Cele stated that a decrease in domestic cases had also been recorded with a 69.4% decrease seen nationwide. He noted that many cases of domestic violence involved either arguments over liquor or individuals being under the influence of it.
On the other side of the spectrum, 107 000 cases were opened with regards to contraventions of the lockdown regulations.