Some crime increases good news - expert

2011-09-08 22:38

Pretoria - Increases in drug-related crimes, possession of illegal firearms and driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs are actually good news, an expert said on Thursday.

"These are not indications of a problem getting worse, but means more police action is taking place," said Gareth Newham, head of the crime and justice programme at the Institute for Security Studies.

"Police themselves celebrate these increases."

Newham was speaking in Pretoria after the release of South Africa's annual crime statistics.

Drug-related crime increased 10.2% in the year under review - from April 2010 to March 2011. The number of crimes recorded in this category doubled in the last eight to nine years, said police head of crime research and statistics Chris de Kock.

"If you look at history, it's a constant line going up."

Newham said this was good news.

"It doesn't mean more drugs, it means police are arresting more drug dealers," he said.

Driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs increased by 4.5% in the year under review, and 10.6% the year before.

However, the illegal possession of firearms decreased by 2%.

Newham said these three categories were all crimes detected as a result of police action.

Since 2003, some 70 000 more police posts had been created, which would have played a role in the improving figures, he said.

  • Denise - 2011-09-09 03:23

    South Africa... #1 - MURDER capital of the world again! still! whatever!!! What's up with these CRIME STATS? Down 6.5%? I don't think so... Whats the difference between MURDER, HOMICIDE & MANSLAUGHTER? Can someone please explain? Take note below that the murders & homicides are 'with firearms'... Where are the stats for murders WITHOUT firearms? !!! Makes one wonder what the Medical Research Council’s stats will reveal? The MRC’s estimate could be close to a third more murders than reported by SAPS. Expect evidence that SA’s murder stats are worse than official stats have so far admitted. Gun violence > Homicides > Overall homicide rate > per 100,000 pop # 1 ................... 125.965 Gun violence > Homicides > Firearm homicide rate > per 100,000 pop # 1 ................... 74.5748 Gun violence > Homicides > % homicides with firearms # 2 ................... 59.2028 Murders with firearms # 1 ................... 31,918 Manslaughters # 2 ................... 11,202

      ChumScrubber - 2011-09-09 06:27

      Murder is when you kill somebody with intent, culpable homicide is when your actions result in a death but you did not intend to kill - eg your negligence could result in a death. Manslaughter I think is when you intend to injure but not to kill? I'd say especially culpable homicide can't really be compared to murder - there is a big difference.

      Carlin - 2011-09-09 07:08

      The meaning of murder is clear (the unlawful and intentional killing of a human being). Culpable homicide is the unlawful killing of a person through an act of negligence. Manslaughter does not exist as a crime in South African law. It is a foreign concept and in my view tantamount to splitting of hairs. If only firearm related murder were taken into account then the statistics are VERY inaccurate. We trust this was not the case. Knives and other weapons are used far more often. I am a public prosecutor.

      DEVILS SON - 2011-09-09 07:45

      just say it murder was down 10%, therefore instead of say 1000 per yr, its 900, and at 6.5% thats not good enough, drop it by half and we getting somewhere, there is no deterrant, go back to the prison system, get free meals, sex, money and drugs.that does not sound too bad to me if im honest

      Worker - 2011-09-09 10:01

      It's a smokescreen to take our attention off the REAL FACTS and police corruption. I do not believe their figures. Lies and Statistics (often a pseudonym for scientific lies).

      Grant - 2011-09-09 10:22

      Nobody picking up the astonishing irony here?? These retards claim that an increase in crime merely suggests that more police action is taking place - so they celebrate it! Yet, just yesterday, they were all so happy about the decrease in murders... so were they celebrating the fact that LESS police action was taking place?? They cant fit the mould of IDIOTS any better, can they!?

  • multicore - 2011-09-09 03:33

    South Africa remains an extremely dangerous place no matter how they try to spin the statistics. The bottom line is: given the incompetent regime will remain in power indefinitely it is unlikely that the crime will ever be brought under control.

  • Bluffbandit - 2011-09-09 04:46

    Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me

      Killroy2011 - 2011-09-09 06:55

      Correct that's why we need more private fire arms. An when you shoot to kill shoot till the ammunition runs out. Thats the peace on earth and good will thats what these criminals need. Bullets . Lots of them !

  • Tomas - 2011-09-09 04:54

    If the police were actually doing policing instead of sitting at the side of the highway watching cars go past, that may drop the crime rates. If you are drunk or are drving a stolen car, you just take another on ramp - the suprise element is taken away and everybody knows where the police are - the flashing blue lights may be give them away !!! if they were actually driving around more, instead of sitting in one location and not so visisble, then they would suprise more law breakers.

  • Jack - 2011-09-09 05:06

    Stupid argument. Following the article's logic, if murders are down more than 6% then does that mean the converse applies i.e. that the stats reflect LESS police action on this type of crime?

      Walter - 2011-09-09 05:40

      The stats, whatever they indicate, are bad news and I've never heard such triffle in all my life! Someone trying to make something bad look good..... and probably trying to justify his job.

      Walter - 2011-09-09 05:40

      The stats, whatever they indicate, are bad news and I've never heard such triffle in all my life! Someone trying to make something bad look good..... and probably trying to justify his job.

      jka - 2011-09-09 08:32

      Murder is a reliable stat because there's an actual dead body that has to be accounted for. There's no such thing as "uner-reporting" murder - people don't discover their loved one's murdered body and think "ag, its too much of a schlep to report this". But that does happen with other crimes like petty theft, and also rape and drugs where people and families are ashamed - they rather want to deal with it privately. So yes, the article makes a good point - it could just be more arrests and more reporting on certain crimes, which IS a good thing (not that the crimes themselves are good, of course not). But there is no way to no that for sure. In general it is annoying how many people refuse to believe these stats. Based on what? The media reporting on crime more than in previous years because they've realised it sells?? Hype generated by security companies that make a profit off your fear?? Living in Joburg which is NOT representative of the rest of the country?? I can remember in the late 1990's frequently hearing of friends-of-friends/people within a few degrees separation being attacked, hi-jacked etc. Haven't heard a story like that in a few years now. I do believe it is getting better, albeit slowly. Some stations deserve special mention. Khayelitsha has seen an almost 50% drop in violent crime since 2000. This is due to the ground-breaking project called Violence Prevention Through Urban Upgrade (VPUU). Crime is still high, but its coming down at a good rate.

  • SirPlod - 2011-09-09 05:56

    What a load of crap. If drug related crime only appears to be increasing because they are catching more drug pushers... then you could argue that murders and illegal firearm use have decreased only because they are catching less murderers and crooks with firearms!!! Aaah, statistics - being bent to suit your own agenda since statistics were invented.

      DGVD2 - 2011-09-09 08:10

      SirPlod You don't need to catch a murderer to know a murder has taken place!!

  • veebot - 2011-09-09 05:59

    @multicore - blame it all on the centuries long crime of oppression and the decades long crime of apartheid. crime was for a long time allowed to fester within the segregated black communities while resources were ploughed elsewhere in the country. and now we act as though this is a sudden problem? we were caught unawares? please. and the incumbent government is always used as a scapegoat for everything that is wrong in this country! we all need to work together to tackle crime head on. no measure of fingerpointing is going to help anyone of us. i believe that this government is doing its damnest to try and turn this wave around. let us appreciate that. yes there are and there always will be bad elements, but if more of us get together and say ENOUGH, we sure will get somewhere some day. i thank you.

      DanG - 2011-09-09 06:32

      Many white nations including the Afrikaner nation after the boer war, were impoveraged at one stage, yet none of these nations had a increase in crime. Blacks are always looking for ways to excuse their behaviour and they never accept responsibility for their own wrong doings. They are like children.

      allie - 2011-09-09 08:17

      Because there was segregation,the crime was under control.When you give an uncivilized people free run ,you get what we are getting now.Don`t look for excuses and don`t BS me,i was there.

      Worker - 2011-09-09 10:04


  • Hugh - 2011-09-09 06:26

    Crime has more to do with peoples respect for one another and compliance. Every day we see non compliance by the majority of people around us.Anything from peeing on the nearest wall to stopping in the middle of the road to chat to a friend to illegal dumping or drinking in public. These people know they are doing wrong but do not care about the laws that are in place for the comfort of all.

      Peepol - 2011-09-09 07:40

      What`s wrong with peeing against a wall? Its a basic human right!

      green_goblin - 2011-09-09 07:55

      @peepol, I guess you don't work in the health sector?

  • DanG - 2011-09-09 06:29

    Lets use an crime temperature anology. 1) Exposure to 60 deg celsius will kill you. (60 Degrees is one murder) 2) Last year in South Africa the crime temperature was around 1,080,000 2) This year the crime temperature is around 900,000. 3) Either way you are still dead. ........ Nevertheless I do not belief the "official" crime stats, because in one of the most corrupt countries on earth, this is definately one of the areas where the truth will be massaged.

  • Tc - 2011-09-09 07:03


  • Sabathman 33 - 2011-09-09 07:33

    These so called stats are a bunch of hogwash, watered down as not to unveil the real truth. We are in a WAR, we are not prepared or equipped for and nobody in this GoverMUNT wants you to know how bad the situation really is. These are not the real stats!

  • rudie.stoltz - 2011-09-09 07:36

    Happy that drug related crimes are increasing. That means the number of people on drugs are also increasing. Do you realise that those people that use drugs are putting theyre parents through HELL. You Idiot. You should be fired for saying that its happy news. Its shows how sick police management is.

      Pulverturm - 2011-09-09 08:28

      You were dropped on your head as a child weren't you?

      jka - 2011-09-09 08:46

      There's a difference between actual drug use and drug related arrests. We cannot know for sure if drug related arrests are increasing because drug use in increasing or because police intelligence and arrests are increasing. No one is saying an increase in drug use is good, they are saying an increase in arrests could be good if we assume drug use rates to be constant.

      Worker - 2011-09-09 10:06

      I wonder who the drug users are? Maybe the same one who compile the stats ?

  • EgZachary - 2011-09-09 07:42

    All good news but.... in 2004, 80% of drug arrests were cannabis related, i don't know the stats now but I bet it's still about the same. 80%!!!!! That's crazy, if they had to decriminalize cannabis posession and use then the cops would have 80% more time to deal with REAL criminals... and don't comment and say weed smokers are criminals, every time you exceed the speed limit you are breaking the law and putting more lifes in danger than a joint ever did! It's time to wake the F^%$ up and FREE the WEED!!!!!!!!

  • Mart - 2011-09-09 07:51

    I think this 'boffin' is talking absolute tripe. Arrests for drug related crimes including just possession, example tik, are on the increase because it is this constant source of supply that the cops themselves are using. Illegal firearms ditto. I bet you that if an inspection and drug test was done this very minute in a few police stations around the country, you will see that I am telling the truth. This is where corruptibility of our government employees starts.....with an addiction. It is a well known that the Nigerians dealing in drugs will 'off' an addict if they can't pay them what they owe. The youngster who supposedly hangs himself (popular apparently with Nigerians) may not always be a suicide. I suspect the high incidence of cop murders are probably also drug related. No South Africa, drugs are a humungous problem on our streets, and their influence is permeating through all societies. Time to do what's right !

  • tehedim - 2011-09-09 08:16

    Ezra, what do we believe? what we see or what we've been told South Africa is rotten ruled by liars, criminals, mafias as much as they decrease matric percentage to sout the current goverment passing rate. what else are they capable of doing,whoever came up with those stat dont tell us what the mafias are telling to say. its fraud not crime? did it go down since 2005 or it rises day by day with all goverment officials involved including police commissioner

  • CyberDog - 2011-09-09 08:26

    So by the same reasoning implied here, all the crime that has decreased implies that the police have not being doing their work .... Go figure...

  • AlexX - 2011-09-09 08:28

    It is important to check your police docket as it has come to light that often, the officers will not state that it was a crime i.e. when a rock was flung from a bridge onto a car, it was reported as an accident, but it was really attempted murder. They do this to influence stats. Stop talking BS Newham. With all the Nigerians crawling around in our city streets, drugs and illegal fire arms are spiralling out of control. My ex husband went to Centurion police station to hand in is 1 fire arm. The officer took it, placed it in the drawer, when he asked the officer if he should sign a register, he was told NO (he took his fire arm back).

  • Neo - 2011-09-09 08:30

    And remember, with the SWC the police actually did their job to protect the foreigners, watch murders go up again this year, and then it's good news again because they got caught, what a lot of bull.

  • Janine - 2011-09-09 08:34

    I nearly fell off my chair when I read the headline! Do they seriously expect us to believe this? No reasonable person is going to think that this is good news.

  • Leica - 2011-09-09 08:40

    When morals are sufficient, law is unnecessary; when morals are insufficient, law is unenforceable.

  • Uzziel - 2011-09-09 08:41

    This is some of the biggest load of nonsense I have ever read on this news website. So when do you stop celebrating an increase in crime???

  • glasses - 2011-09-09 08:42

    So does this mean that crime stats are down means the police aren't policing these properly?

  • dspies - 2011-09-09 09:23

    Does it really though? This is, unfortunately, one of those statistics that are influenced by the amount of attention one gives to it. You would have to ask whether the police were mandated to focus more on drug related crimes and compare things such as road blocks operated during 09/10 to roadblocks operated between 10/11 (the main source of DUI stats)... If the answer is no, they had the same number of operations as the year before, if the roadblock figures are the same, and the cases have gone up, then it is safe to say that it is prevalence, not policing that's to blame. Personally I feel it is a combination of both. Empirical evidence would indicate that drug and alcohol abuse is on the increase, as is often the case when economic hardship increases.

  • BadBoy79 - 2011-09-09 09:47

    Another interpretation can be that the crime rates are going down cause the SAPS are catching less criminals cause there are more and more criminals wearing the SAPS uniforms?

  • brinjal - 2011-09-09 09:53

    ""It doesn't mean more drugs, it means police are arresting more drug dealers," he said." This is bulls**t! It DOES mean more drugs & thats why police are arresting more drug dealers.

  • Worker - 2011-09-09 09:59

    The government is not serious about tackling crime - CRIME IS A MONEY MAKER ! Every item stolen has to be replaced (+VAT), security services employ people (PAYE & company TAX), all security devices are paid for (+VAT). Crime is way over a BILLION RAND business, "employing" many people who cause others to pay more in direct or indirect TAX. Murder, to them, is merely a byproduct, and the government is only worried when the cops are subjected to this crime which devastates so may communities.

  • littlevoice14 - 2011-09-09 10:14

    I think we are the only country in the world that celebrates an increase in crime statistics no matter what they are! Now that we know they are up, bring then down! Bravo.

  • Perplexed24 - 2011-09-09 11:00

    or it's a case of that there are just so so many more of them that statistically there are more of them to catch- making it more likely that some will be caught? This doesn't mean that there is more police action! It could be a case of the fish jumping into the boat!

  • Pfish - 2011-09-09 11:46

    Pretoria - Increases in drug-related crimes, possession of illegal firearms and driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs are actually good news, an expert said on Thursday. "These are not indications of a problem getting worse, but means more police action is taking place," said Gareth Newham, head of the crime and justice programme at the Institute for Security Studies I work with drug addicts and know for a fact that the market is on the increase, rapidly, even our ineffectual police force can manage to stumble across a drug related crime there are so many. I have never heard a bigger BS statement than their policing is getting better that's why drug related crimes have increased. That comment is stupid enough to have even come from Malema!

  • jen - 2011-09-09 12:14

    Does that mean that they have arrested less murderers and rapists? That's why the stats are down. Does not make sense.

  • legalize_zol - 2011-09-09 12:41

    Please help Jules and Myrtle i.e. the Dagga couple in bringing an application to legalize dagga in the Constitutional Court. By making a donation of R100 we get closer to this historic occasion and opportunity to regain access to one of nature's greatest gifts to humanity.

  • Ke maketse - 2011-09-09 15:59

    This explanation is really confusing. Who are this experts

  • Kwankung - 2011-09-14 09:04

    bunch of idiots are chasing a dagga plant around because it doesnt run away, a murderer and a robber will run, bloody idiots, leave the addicts alone, and catch the real criminals, instead of catching easy targets. they make road blocks and wait for criminals to come to them, yes they catching more drunk drivers, but less of everything else. i challange these false statistics, its a total farce and anyone who believes this nonsense has been brainwashed into thinking that the government represents your interests.

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