The Minister of Police, Bheki Cele, stuck to his guns on police retaliation when dealing with armed criminals, maintaining officers take a ‘ruthless’ approach and use their weapons.
Cele was speaking during Saps’s presentation of the quarterly crime statistics, which paint a picture of the extent of crimes committed between 01 July to 30 September 2022.
“When people plan cash heists, they do not carry broomsticks; they do not carry yellow dust. They carry guns, and those guns are for the elimination of everybody who stands in their way. Therefore police must be able to respond accordingly,” said Cele.
Cele revealed that 22 police officers were killed during this period –two fewer members than last year.
“It is on this note that this ministry will never stop calling on Saps members to defend themselves at all times from ruthless criminals whenever they are under attack,” said Cele.
Murder crime stats
The latest figures showed that over 7000 people were killed in three months, a 13.6 % increase compared to last year.
These murders occurred due to arguments, misunderstandings, road rage, provocations, vigilantism and robbery.
At least 2 808 people were murdered using firearms, proving that guns are criminals’ weapons of choice.
KwaZulu-Natal led the charge in gun-related murders with 961 incidents, followed by Gauteng with a total of 768 fatal shootings, and the third was Western Cape, with 526 dying from gunshot wounds.
Top five murder police station
The top three police stations that recorded the most incidents of murder were Inanda and Umlazi, respectively, in KZN, followed by Nyanga police station in the Western Cape.
Additional reporting by Faizel Patel