Excellent Crime Stats – against a dark background

From murder to car jacking and from GBH to rape the April 2009 – March 2010 Crime Statistics published yesterday indicate significant and welcome improvements.

Unfortunately the absolute levels are still extraordinarily high and in one area, crimes against women and children, there have been large and distressing increases.

See the really unusually well written and interesting ‘Crime Situation in South Africa’ document from SAPS  here and links to all the ‘per category’ figures here.

(This added a few hours after publication: here for per province/per station as well as the national crime totals and here for really interesting interactive maps per category per ‘a command area’ (not sure how that geographic area it defined, but the graphic display is is particularly interesting.)

3 thoughts on “Excellent Crime Stats – against a dark background

  1. If the current government is proposing to end transparency and the free flow of information, then I wonder if you think we can believe these figures?
    Not because they are necessarily unbelievable, but because we know our government does not want any uncomfortable truths to be known.

    Also, I think there are serious questions about the character of the current police chief, not to mention his predecessor. Does the SAPS have such a culture of service to the communities that it is able to achieve spectacular results?

    If the figures have not been fiddled with, to what extent are improvements really attributable to the SAPS?
    How many deaths from political conflict did the high figures from the late 1990’s contain? I think we may be seeing a reduction of murders due to many factors relating to normalization of society rather than just police action.

  2. @alleman and @andre I think we must be cautious of the stats. We have seen deliberate attempts to manipulate figures and we know that crime displaces in response to policing and technology (geographically and between categories – eg car alarm systems technology advances lead to car hijacking; successful watch in one suburb displaces problem onto the next suburb) and in response to other factors – robbery grows because of cell phone ubiquity). But, the murder rate is an excellent proxy – for a variety of reasons (mostly obvious – you’ve got a body) and the steady downward trend is a seriously hopeful sign. I personally am waiting for the response from ISS’s excellent “SA Crime Quarterly” which is likely to come out quickly in response to this release. Here is the place you will find it when it comes out: http://www.issafrica.org/pgcontent.php?UID=649 .
    And Alleman, I have to confess I have deep misgiving about the Commeesh/General – the suave fedora and endearing “stomach in, chest out” not withstanding … these property deals, the rot seems to spread both ways

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