Will SAPS finally release LGBTIQ hate crimes stats?


South African Police Commissioner Khehla Sithole has indicated that the SAPS is committed to releasing crime statistics that specify LGBTIQ hate crimes. But are these even being recorded as such? On Friday, Sithole, alongside other senior officials such as Police Minister Bheki Cele, addressed the media at the release of the quarterly crime statistics. The statistics related to crimes that occurred from the first of April to the end of June this year. They showed major decreases in crime, including a 35.8% decline in murder, but this is thought to largely be due to the coronavirus lockdown during this period. At the press briefing, a journalist from Eyewitness News asked the commissioner: “When will the SAPS include a category that specifically deals with hate crimes against homosexual people or the queer community?” Sithole responded: “I want to indicate that the hate crimes are actually part and parcel of the current scope of responding to crime, but we obviously did not look at a dedicated… approach… so we are taking the comment as an input and will then… make sure that it is part of the deliverable description…”

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