Report small crime

2014-02-08 00:00

VICTIMS not reporting crime distort the true magnitude of crime as reported by the police annually, and this hampers putting together strategies to stop it.

This warning emerged from a “victimisation survey” issued by Statistics SA this week, and is backed by pleas from various community policing forums to report any crime, no matter how small.

According to the report, when it comes to home robberies, the hot spots in this province were primarily in the eThekwini Metro and uMhlathuze Municipality. The report also highlights the under-reporting of crime by victims.

These findings form part of the Victims of Crime Survey data released by Stats SA on Thursday in the first volume of a Crime Statistic Series that deals specifically with housebreaking/burglary and home robbery from 2010 to 2011.

What differentiates a home robbery from housebreaking/burglary is that there is contact between the victim and the perpetrator.

The most home robberies occurred in the northern parts of eThekwini, including Pinetown, Kloof, Emachobeni, Waterfall, Molweni, Inanda, Mgangeni, Mgandeni, Senzukule, Amatata and Inhozamo.

Further up the coast in the uMhlathuze­ Municipality, Empembeni, Mtunzini, Madlangala, Richards Bay, Stezi, uMhlathuze, Mhlana and Nqutshini were the most affected.

One of “the advantages of a victimisation survey is that it also captures crimes that were not reported to the police”, says the report.

“An estimated 58,5% of housebreaking/burglary incidents in South Africa were reported to the police in 2011,” it says.

“This means that about 41,5% of housebreaking/burglary incidents were not captured in the Case Administration System” that administers the reported case dockets and crime investigations that form part of the annual crime statistics.

“It is worth noting that by not reporting crime … victims distort the true magnitude of crime as reported by SAPS annually,” says the report.

“We encourage people to report any and everything,” says Corne Broodryk, Kloof Community Police Forum chairperson.

“People say its small stuff and they can’t be bothered or they have lost confidence in the police — that’s really nonsense.

“People want things solved immediately, but it just doesn’t happen that way,” he said. “There is a system in place and you’ve got to get processed into the system.”

He says it is common knowledge that the SAPS has “limited resources that are deployed where they are needed”.

“If you don’t report crime, you are just not going to get police into the area to deal with crime.”

Hayden Searle, Durban North Community Police Forum chairperson, agrees, “If you don’t report the smallest crime, when it comes to allocating resources the police will look at the statistics and say contact crime is so low your area doesn’t need that.”

• Stephen.Coan@witness.co.za

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