Victims of Crime Survey contradicts crime stats - Kohler Barnard
Victims of Crime Survey shows that SAPS stats do not reflect South African realities
The 2011 Victims of Crime Survey released by Statistics SA today, shows that South Africans are feeling less safe in their homes despite reported decreases in house burglaries (see here - PDF.
The crime statistics released last week showed an 11.1% decrease in reported house burglaries, but the Victims of Crime Survey shows that there has been an increase in the victims of housebreakings/burglaries (from 4.5% to 5.4%).
In addition, 57.4% of South Africans fear housebreaking and house robbery the most. This increased from 50.2% last year.
If the South African Police Service (SAPS) is really decreasing the number of house robberies, then why do South Africans feel less safe in their homes?
The survey also confirmed that people do not report crimes to the police because they do not feel that the police will do anything for them. Under-reporting is particularly problematic with regard to assault and sexual offences and statistics around these crimes are uncertain due to the massive underreporting of sexual offences and the SAPS failure to register domestic violence cases.
It is of particular concern, but perhaps inevitable, that South Africans are turning to local gangs and vigilante groups for assistance rather than going to the police. This shows a complete distrust of those mandated to protect our communities and must be recognised as a serious threat to security and the rule of law.
Although these statistics provide us with a better understanding of the public's perception of crime and those who have been affected by crime, they still do not provide the whole picture and cannot be considered a full or true reflection of crime levels in the country.
The DA will continue to call for real-time crime statistics to be collected and reported by an independent body.
Reliable, community-level statistics that are publicly available would promote understanding for the crime-situation in our country and ultimately change perceptions of crime.
South Africa has one of the highest crime rates in the world. This situation will not change unless we we have accurate, reliable and up to the minute statistics on the nature, level and geographic spread of criminal activity which will allow the SAPS to effectively tailor crime prevention and management.
Statement issued by Dianne Kohler Barnard MP, DA Shadow Minister of Police, September 27 2012
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