Crime stats: Alcohol played a part in many violent assaults in SA

Alcohol was prevalent in many of the cases of assault in the first three months of the year, says police minister Bheki Cele. Stock photo.
Alcohol was prevalent in many of the cases of assault in the first three months of the year, says police minister Bheki Cele. Stock photo.
Image: 123RF/Vladislavs Gorniks

Alcohol and its role in the assaults in the country was discussed by police minister Bheki Cele when he released the latest crime stats on Friday afternoon.

He said the prevalence of violence in our communities was growing to “unacceptable proportions”.

Though cases of assault had decreased by more than 9%, there were still more than 75,000 cases of common assault and assault with the intent to cause grievous bodily harm (GBH) opened with the police between January and March this year.

“In 2,855 incidents of assault GBH it was confirmed that alcohol was consumed either by the victim or the perpetrator or both.”

Of these, 2,047 incidents of assault GBH took place at a bar, a nightclub, a tavern or a shebeen.

“This doesn’t exclude alcohol being present in parks, beaches and other places of entertainment,” said Cele.

Gauteng and the Western Cape recorded the highest number of assault cases.

Of the incidents of assault, both common and GBH, 16,528 were domestic-related, meaning the victim and perpetrator knew each other.

“Alcohol abuse is the albatross around one's neck for us in the SAPS and certainly for the communities we serve,” Cele said.

“Again, communities can no longer afford to stand aside and look, they have to be part of the crime solution, by saying no to alcohol abuse.

“Some communities have more taverns as compared to any other establishment, in their area of residence, including churches and schools combined.

“You simply cannot expect those communities to have social stability, due to the oversupply of liquor.

“It is on this score that we call upon the alcohol industry to also be part of the solution and offer social responsibility programmes.”

TimesLIVE


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