Credit police for drop in crime: ISS

2011-09-08 15:25

Johannesburg - Police and communities deserve credit for a decrease in the country's crime rate, the Institute for Security Studies (ISS) said on Thursday.

"But what the statistics don't reveal is the grim reality of many serious and often hidden crimes such as domestic violence, child abuse, hate crimes and corruption," head of the ISS crime and justice programme Gareth Newham said in a statement.

"It is important that the SAPS further improves its method of collecting and reporting on these crime statistics."

If better data was obtained about these crimes, they could be addressed more effectively, he said.

The ISS was reacting to the release of the annual crime statistics by Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa in Pretoria on Thursday.

Mthethwa said South Africa's murder rate dropped by 6.5% to 15 940 murders in 2010/11 compared to the previous period, and attempted murder decreased by 12.2%.

There was a decrease in sexual offences by 3% but Mthethwa said this was "an area that still required focused attention".

The number of reported rapes rose from 55 097 to 56 272. Rape, based on international trends, was often under-reported, he said.

Newham said though there was a decrease, violent crimes such a murder, attempted murder and assaults were an ongoing trend in South Africa, which started in 2003.

"There are no simple reasons for the reduction in these types of crime. It is not simply because of the World Cup, or because we have more police officials," said Newham.

"The reasons are most likely to be found in a careful analysis of local socio-economic factors."

Reducing crime in the long run was not just about policing and the criminal justice system. There needed to be more focus on tackling poverty and inequality, he said.

  • Buic Unix - 2011-09-08 15:27

    It is their job so let us not praise people for a mere 6% come on now...

      Buic Unix - 2011-09-08 15:30

      They need to drop that to a much higher rate since most crime is actually commited by police themselves so please excuse us..we know when a state is doing a great job, and i have to say at the moment crime in sa has went higher than the previous apartheid government infact much higher since the ANC has opened doors to crime itself...

      Zee - 2011-09-08 15:49

      Agreed, but at least it's a start. We need to give credit where it's due and acknowledge those that have made progress in the fight against crime if we wish them to continue to do so. Well done SAPS, now keep moving forward.

      Greg - 2011-09-08 15:54

      @Buic Unix - Please advise what the statistics were before the ANC came to power (I trust that you have them available as you would surely not make an unsubstantiated comment)...And please also advise statistics proving that most crime is committed by the police themselves....What about all those SAPS members who have died doing their job???

      Lekabisto - 2011-09-08 16:19

      I am anticipating news paper head lines soon "The REAL Crime Stats"!

      Buic Unix - 2011-09-08 16:48

      @Greg read it for a south african that was victimised and lost three cell phones in just three months i know this for a fact that crime is South Africa is only going up.....CRIME AFTER 1994 The expectation which many had in 1994 that crime — especially violent crime — would decrease has not materialised. Crime figures for 1999 indicate that the number of recorded crimes is at an all time high.8 The increase in the overall number of recorded crimes, including the number of violent crimes, was greater between 1998 and 1999 than in any previous year after 1994.9 During the first three years after South Africa’s political transition in 1994, overall crime levels stabilised, albeit at very high levels of especially violent crime. The number of recorded crimes increased by 3% between 1994 and 1996. Over a similar period, South Africa’s population increased by an estimated 4%. source

      Greg - 2011-09-08 17:21

      @Buic Unix ....thank you - I appreciate the fact you responded.

      Nicholas.Spaggiari - 2011-11-26 04:54

      Rubbish, firstly the minister in charge of all this has been up for fraud. The same guy has a mandate to reduce crime, if he meets the mandate he gets a fat bonus. He was found messing with the stats but still got his bonus. The other point is this, South Africa now have a bill to control what gets out in the media, the prime reason for this is to cover up the crime, corruption, fraud etc. Why? Because the current exposure is hurting the ANC bad, they are going to lose votes, international relationships are breaking, there is media all over the world naming and shaming them. There are more and more ranking sites coming out, comparing countries in terms of economy, corruption etc. South Africa is failing bad at all of it… So what do they do to avoid this, they create the info Bill. Smart, but so evil and the nation will forget about it in a few months. Take a look at what Cele gets paid: And his recent suspensions:

      Nicholas.Spaggiari - 2012-01-19 00:40

      John - 2012-01-25 18:40

      And then there is the problem of credibility of statistics, when most government / police employees can not even spell statistics, never mind count 1 2 3...

  • Exilestar - 2011-09-08 15:28

    Police and Mr. Cele, "listen to what i say and do so, do not watch what i do and imitate, i am no babysitter" Time will tell

  • Peter James Erasmus - 2011-09-08 15:30

    Well done boys in blue. What were the stats on ATM bombings??? Just asking

      MSGRule - 2011-09-08 15:52

      Yes what are the stats on government officials caught. What are the stats of offcials being re assigned to other department after being caught and the re-offending official rate. What are the stats officials involved in syndicates.

      Darter - 2011-09-08 16:29

      Click on the "Read more stories about Crime" link on the right of the screen, "SA's murder rate down 6.5%".... "ATM bombings soar 61% Cash-in-transit crimes were down 18.7% and bank robberies declined by 58%. A decrease in these two categories of crimes was, however, leading to an increase in ATM blasts, which increased significantly by 61.5% to 399 cases. The majority of the bombings, 57.1%, took place in Gauteng, followed by the North West at 12.4%"

  • Marius - 2011-09-08 15:47

    They will probably come and say crime has improved with 2%-5%. This while most cases is 2 years on a backlog, Most don’t get reported and because police manage to arrest 5% less criminals due to poor policing there will be less arrests. Crime report: 1) Does it measure crime? 2) Efficiency of the police? Poor policing reduces crime rate on the stats! 3) The efficiency of the courts? Poor courts reduces crime rate on the stats! 4) or the crime rate of 2 years ago? Most cases is on 2 year backlog! Then in this massive uncertainty of what the figures truly reflect, they will still brag about a trend of 2% or 3% while they are uncertain of at least 20%. 50000 murders per year, 5% up or %5 down means the same thing: an unacceptable amount of murders. If the police don't catch any criminals this year we can be sure to see a big drop in crime rate. I will argue that an increase in crime rate means the justice and policing system functions more effectively to handle more cases positively. That means the crime rate statistics means nothing to be technically correct. Everyone can see that crime still a big problem and it’s nothing to celebrate either way.

      King FatAss - 2011-09-08 15:52

      I agree that a 5% drop from 50 000 pple being killed in a year is technically nothing. However, dont you think the 5% of lives that are being saved each year is better than nothing?

      Marius - 2011-09-08 16:13

      If police did their work crime rate will increase, since more people will be arrested and charged providing larger outcomes in conviction rates, drop in crime rate only means fewer convictions. Without any convection, there is no crime or proof of it. This probably mean a less effective justice or police system. Secondly the police cannot take pride for crime rate, because police do not prevent crime, they only try to solve crime already committed. The more they solve the higher the crime rate and not lower. Lower crime rate only means fewer arrests or convictions which is bad. Statistically a lower crime rate only means something if all criminals are brought to justice, which is not the case here. Here the crime rates means how many is brought to justice which has the opposite meaning in police efficiency. Lower rate actually means bad!

  • King FatAss - 2011-09-08 15:49

    Good Job guys. As as positive South African, i can see much lower lovels in the future. This is just the beggining.

      Shadoz - 2011-09-08 16:01

      yeah from one side now we just need to figure out how to drop the corruption cause lets face it we are loosing a lot.

      Leon Groenewald - 2011-09-08 20:37

      A positive South African. Geez, only a blind man can be positive in a world painted neon pink. Wake up Fa(r)tAss and smell the... Oh why do I bother with imbeciles.

      King FatAss - 2011-09-08 20:50

      The police have done their job 6.5% better this year. Me and MY FAT ASS, CAll me imbecile(watever tht means) are proud of South Africa in crisis or not. Pity you

  • Greg - 2011-09-08 15:49

    Well done SAPS - the trend is in the correct direction.

      Leon Groenewald - 2011-09-08 20:39

      Oh, none is as blind as he ho would not see... I guess stupidity really has no bounds.

      King FatAss - 2011-09-08 20:54

      @ Leon, are you implying tht proud South Africans are stupid? you should get a passport and go if you are not happy with the progress SAPS Is doing instead of sitting there and calling South Africans silly names.

  • BloodRiver - 2011-09-08 15:49

    African logic.

  • Neil - 2011-09-08 16:04

    "Thumbs up" this comment if you think the stats are fabricated. "Thumbs down" if you think they are true and accurate.

      King FatAss - 2011-09-08 16:07

      they are obviously accurate, moron, We have acturial scientists and qualified statisticians in RSA, and in as much as you hate the police force, fact is they have brot the crime down by 6.5%. How can you fabricate such????

      Neil - 2011-09-08 16:19

      @ KingFatAss. You tell me what "brot" means and I will tell you who the moron is.

      FFS - 2011-09-08 16:35

      @ KingDumbAss "How can you fabricate such????" Are you serious? Do you honestly not know how stats can be fabricated? If so, then you are criminally stupid. The matric results stats are massage every year...yes EVERY YEAR. University pass stats are massaged EVERY YEAR. Statistics can and are massaged every single day to suit the requirements of those publishing them. Computer programs are run, and re-run as many times as necessary, until the required results are produced. Anyone who has ever worked for the department of education, SARS, or any statistics bureau will be able to tell you this. You have heard of 'computer programs' before right? Sigh!!!!!

      Leon Groenewald - 2011-09-08 20:42

      @King Fa(r)tAss. Moron; all actuaries and statisticians worth their salt have left the country. Only us lower class who could not afford the tickets remained. Some of us with brains. You obviously not being one!

      King FatAss - 2011-09-08 21:05

      GEtting into a conversation with irrational and negative pple is pathetic. I may be dumb, but you can suck my FAT ASS n tell you wat, it tastes PROUDLY SOUTH AFRICAN.

  • dspies - 2011-09-08 16:14

    Each year more people are affected by crime, we do not forget about our loved ones that were violently taken away from us simply because it is a new year. We do not forget the abuse suffered at the hands of another, simply because we've already been counted. We pat ourselves on the back because there were 894 less murders in our country. We are wrong, there were 15 940 additional people who have lost their lives. This is not an accomplishment, it is not something to take pride in.

  • MSGRule - 2011-09-08 16:17

    Murder 2003=19,824 2004=18,793 2005=18,545 2006=19,202 2007=18,487 2008=18,148 2009=16,834 2010=16834 2011=15,940 Average is 500 murders per year. If projected forward by 2039 we will only have 400 murdrs per year

      MSGRule - 2011-09-08 16:22

      4,693 soldiers killed in Iraq since 2003

      dspies - 2011-09-08 16:26

      The average murder rate over the past 8 years is actually 18,221, with a decrease of around 485 murders a year. So if the trend continues we could, potentially, see the murder rate sitting at 2,360 in 2039.

  • Pacific Barbarian - 2011-09-08 16:26

    We all know the figures are cooked!!!

  • TheWiseOne - 2011-09-08 16:34

    I for one stopped reporting crime unless I need a case number for insurance purposes. Had three cases of theft which did not justify the claim against the excess. So after the first instance where the police station clearly did not want to help me, I stop bothering. So a drop in crime could also relate to a drop in confidence in the police (people do bother to report the crime).

  • James - 2011-09-08 16:46

    Good job, if this can really be believed.

  • PhatCatt - 2011-09-08 16:51

    There is obviously much scepticism about the police stats. My own scepticism is based upon a macro-economic view: in the last 2 years we have had over 1 million job-losses according to Stats SA, and the crime rate has come down?? If you study crime and unemployment correlation anywhere in the world you will see that when unemployment increases, so does the rate of crime. This correlation is absolute - up until now there has never been an exception to this correlation. How then is it possible that we are the only country in the world, in history, to show a crime reduction in an economic climate of a significant increase in unemployment? Something is not right...

      Darter - 2011-09-08 17:31

      Zimbabwe has an unemployment rate of over 70%, but the crime rate isn't nearly as high. So your analysis is a fail....people commit crime because they think they can get away with it

  • Sarie - 2011-09-08 16:51

    'Police AND COMMUNITIES deserve credit for a decrease in the country's crime rate!' Give credit where credit is due: to community policing!!! - Wolfie

  • shamierius - 2011-09-08 17:39

    This is incredible! I think we should follow a similar approach to obesity, if we raise the weight at which people are considered obese we can drastically reduce levels of obesity in SA...

  • St Shooter - 2011-09-08 17:47

    I sit in amazed awe at some of the gullibility of the peoples answers here, as am ex Police Officer I can honestly say that POLICE STATS are toyed with, by each and every station, they report what they want and start to report 3 house brake Ins instead of 7 etc... WANT EVIDENCE? If you are a person strongly involved in the community and you hear all the crimes the police are reporting to head office, join your CPF and sit in on the meetings a representative of the local Police station is always there giving the stats for the previous month, as i say if you know the community you will know if there were 10 or 15 house braking or X amount of this and that and you will see the SAPS NEVER have all the crime in their stats, NEVER

      St Shooter - 2011-09-08 17:49

      BTW they do not do this out of their own, there is an Instruction from HEAD OFFICE

      Darter - 2011-09-08 18:52

      How does this compare to the number of people who report false crimes for insurance purposes? Just asking

  • Leon Groenewald - 2011-09-08 20:19

    SAPS - Supposed ANC Political Statistics

  • deminimus - 2011-09-08 23:48

    How many smash and grabs of cars at traffic lights were recorded as MIP because nothing was stolen. The intent was to steal but they found nothing. Can hardly call that malicious injury to property it was attempted theft.

  • Trevor - 2012-01-25 19:18

    I suspect that lead contamination ( mostly from petrol and paint ) in children will feature much in study of crime. The theory is that if a young child absorbs lead, the child has a far greater chance of becoming a criminal at a later age. Lead damages the brain in a way that makes the kid more impulsive. There are many places in the world, where lead has been removed from petrol, and there was a drop in crime about 20 years later. The lead content in South African petrol was reduced significantly about 20 years ago, ( although was still too high even then ) If the crime is dropping, this might be a reason why. We will have to wait another 14-15 years before getting the full benefit of the removal of lead from petrol.

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