Reference group on analysis and use of crime stats proposed

A top crime expert has told Parliament’s police committee that crime statistics for the past two years could not be trusted because they were based on out-dated population estimates.

Dr Johan Burger, on behalf of the Institute for Security Studies (ISS) addressing the committee during public hearings on the SAPS annual report,  said: "The SAPS miscalculated the changes in the crime ratios between 2011-12 and 2012-13. This was because the 2011-12 crime ratios were based on outdated and incorrect population estimates. The ISS wrote to the minister, the national commissioner and the secretary (for police), requesting a discussion in this regard.

Dr Burger also proposed a reference group on the analysis and use of crime statistics and related information. The group could be representative of the SAPS research unit, the secretariat for police, the National Planning Commission, Statistics SA, the Human Sciences Research Council and civil society organisations." He said the ISS also proposed a more regular release of crime statistics at station level once a month instead of once a year.

"This will inform communities about crime trends and threats in their areas and enable them to take better informed decisions."

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