Since 2005, South Australia has had on average about 22 murders a year, with a low of 12 in 2007 and as high as 29 in 2011. About 33% of murders are committed within the criminal community and are generally either linked to gangs or drug trafficking, and in most cases the victim and offender for all murders are known to each other.
Nationally about 47% of murders involve the use of knives, 24 % with firearms and the remainder through differing methods.
Most murders are solved, but unfortunately not all. Over the last 10 years about 10% remain unsolved on average each year, despite clearances of 100% in some years. The small number that remain unsolved annually build up over time and there are now over 113 cases in South Australia that remain unsolved dating back to the 1950s.
A comprehensive cold case campaign was recently launch to encourage people with information to break their silence and come forward. Over time, relationships and alliances between suspects, friends and witnesses can break down, and this can often remove the reluctance of people to provide incriminating evidence against the suspect. In the last couple of years we have had considerable success in getting people from bygone eras to provide critical information to police about old unsolved homicides.
It is never too late to assist in a murder investigation.
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