Crime in South Africa at lowest level in 15 years

South Africa's Minister of Police, Nathi Mthethwa, has welcomed the IHS Crime Index report which has found that crime in the country is at its lowest level in 15 years.

The report – which is divided into two indices: the violent crime index and the property crime index – further stated that crime rates dropped 38 percent since its peak during the 2002/2003.

"The decline in overall crime in South Africa has been echoed in both indices, reporting a steady decline since 2002," it said. "Violent crime is at the lowest level seen in a decade, declining some 40 percent between 2002 and 2013. Property crime experienced a decrease of 24 percent over the same period. The declining crime rates reflect the overall improvement of conditions in South Africa."

Minister Mthethwa said the findings vindicate government's recently-released national crime statistics, which also focused on longitudinal downward trends, and added that whilst many local analysts were skeptical in their analysis of the statistics, it is gratifying that an internationally-recognised, credible and globally-respected institution has now affirmed the fact that crime is decreasing in South Africa.

"Since 1994, we have been making steady progress in the fight against crime," he said. "This period has been characterised by growing unity in action against crime, a period focused on improving life conditions for all, especially the poor. As part of our approach in reducing crime, we further recognised that the task of keeping our country safe cannot be achieved if we operate in silos. That is why we adopted a multi-pronged approach in the fight against crime, underpinned by the involvement communities, business, civic organisations, labour movements and many other stakeholders.

"The IHS Crime Index serves as a great motivation to many hardworking police men and women, who against all odds, still continue to serve with dedication. We want to say whatever the challenges of the moment; nothing will deter these collective efforts between police and many law-abiding citizens in the quest towards crime reduction. However improbable it may sound to the skeptics, success is guaranteed."

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