Most young people know a criminal - poll

2012-12-06 22:11
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Johannesburg - About two-thirds of South African youth claim to know a professional criminal, a survey revealed on Thursday.

Consumer insights company Pondering Panda conducted the poll among 2 995 South Africans aged between 18 and 34.

"Young, black and coloured South Africans were more likely to claim they knew people who were professional criminals, with 68% of blacks and 69% of coloureds saying they knew people such as these," Pondering Panda said in a statement.

"In contrast, 36% of whites and 4% of Indians claimed they knew professional criminals."

Respondents in the North West were most likely to know professional criminals, with 76% of people interviewed in the province saying they did. It was followed by the Free State at 71%, and the Eastern Cape at 70%.

In Gauteng, 59% of people interviewed said they knew a professional criminal.

Pondering Panda spokesperson Shirley Wakefield said the poll showed that criminals operated openly in many communities.

She said 87% of the youth polled thought committing crime was always wrong, even if they were not caught.

"This represents a huge opportunity for the government, as a well-motivated reward system for information could have a dramatic impact on current levels of crime," she said.

"It is encouraging that most young people think crime is wrong under any circumstances, in spite of knowing criminals who are getting away with it."

The interviews for the survey were carried out by cellphone between 7 and 10 November and the results were weighted to be nationally representative.

Read more on:    pondering panda  |  youth

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