Communities are Sitting Ducks Without More Regular Crime Statistics
Media Release by Dan Plato, Western Cape Minister of Community Safety
Tomorrow, September 19, the National Minister of Police and National Commissioner will be releasing the annual crime statistics.
These statistics will be an indication of the South African Police Service’s (SAPS) success or failure in their constitutional responsibility to prevent and combat crime and to protect and secure the inhabitants of our province and country.
Crime statistics provide a measure of success of policing, but they are also a valuable tool for responding to crime patterns and directing valuable resources to where they are most needed. This can only be done by having access to statistics on a more regular basis, so that various roleplayers such as other government departments and civil society can respond to the changing crime patterns and help to prevent crime.
Communities should be empowered with information to take the necessary preventive steps towards making their neighbourhoods safer. Without more regular crime statistics our communities are sitting ducks for opportunistic criminals who change their habits to avoid being caught. In its current format the statistics are at best 6 months out of date and at worst a year and a half too late.
Getting statistics only once a year will have little impact on making our communities safer. There is no good reason why the crime statistics cannot be released on a more regular basis - the police already have this information.
Countries around the world are releasing crime statistics on a more regular basis as they have realised the value of keeping their citizens informed. South African society - NGOs, professional criminologists, residents, CPFs, government departments – have all raised the need for access to crime statistics more frequently.
It is my hope that the National Minster of Police is not only listening, but that he will respond favourably to the call for more regular crime statistics and start releasing these statistics on a monthly, or at least quarterly basis.
Spokesperson for Minister Plato
Cell: 072 623 4499