SAPS Crime Statistics 2017 – 2018 – Gauteng Province
Gauteng Crime Stats – Implications for Children of our Province & Childline Gauteng’s Long Term Strategy
We note with great concern the 478 659 crimes reported in Gauteng (see graph hereunder), representing 28.7% of the 1 662 845 national stats.
Bekhi Cele equates these stats with those found in war zones and our Childline clients reveal the devastating impact on our youth, who may naturally develop a “victim” or a learned aggressiveness mentality. Whilst children are not always the direct victims of these crimes, they are exposed to most of them – through relationships with the victims, being a witness and media reports.
The impact of crime on the 3.3 million children living in Gauteng has to be assessed: fatalities; orphaned and made vulnerable through the loss of loved ones; economic vulnerability, themselves and care takers living with complex continues traumatic stress disorder symptoms which impact on their physical, emotional and academic / work functioning; fear of annihilation for themselves and loved ones; learned aggression as a survival tactic rather than positive values or the adoption of a “victim” worldview; inability to develop trust; great sense of fear impacting on their freedom to play, study, become independent, grow in self-esteem and confidence; and ultimately, live with hope for a brighter future.
Whist crime impacts both boys and girls, males are at greater risk of being victims of violence: 77 boys are murdered compared to 31 girls being killed in Gauteng; counselling clients tells us that our boys’ exposure to physical violence is extreme; and, more men than women are murdered. In addition, the Optimus Study and the Centre for Justice and Crime Prevention indicates that boys are equally vulnerable to sexual violence as girls. Male survivors of sexual abuse are 4 – 6% more likely to become perpetrators themselves, if not afforded counselling services, according to Ciet Africa. This, coupled with the unintended consequence of a sense of male discrimination generated by the girl child campaigns, leaves boys feeling like marginalized, as well as traumatized citizens. Provision of counselling services to all children, including young boys, will prevent them
from offending behaviour and lessen the crime rate in future. The Childline services are all geared to treating family problems and addressing children’s (both girls and boys) emotional issues that may lead to “victim” or criminal behaviour.
Childline has an important role to play in providing a basket of services to families and children, helping to prevent future criminal behaviour: 24/7 toll free Helpline, Community Based Counselling Centres, Childline Awareness and Prevention Programme in school communities and the Sunlight Safe House provide trauma debriefing, facilitate child safety, build resilience, promote child centred communities with positive values through community engagements. We need to upscale our services for greater impact on crime prevention.
The pathway to a reducing crime is multi-faceted: supporting SAPS to continue to apprehend criminals and promote justice for the victims; economic policies to ensure basic needs for all; and provision of healing services for the traumatized.
We all have a role to play in the co-creation of a South Africa we can be proud to call home. We appeal to all, for the sake of our children, to step up and do everything in our power to reverse the criminal trends destroying our country.
Director – Childline Gauteng