Crime Stats 2016 – Western Cape will receive Quarterly Crime Statistics
Statement by Dan Plato, Western Cape Minister of Community Safety
Western Cape Premier Helen Zille has today officially signed the proclamation of the remaining sections of the Community Safety Act (Act 3 of 2013). This has allowed me, as Minister of Community Safety, to promulgate the final regulations pertaining to the Act and will enable the Western Cape Government to receive quarterly crime statistics from the South African Police Service (SAPS), amongst other matters.
The final regulations have received the full support of the SAPS and will take full effect on 1 October 2016. This effectively means that the Western Cape will see its first batch of crime statistics delivered at the end of January 2017, covering the period 1 October 2016 to 31 December 2016.
This is a victory for every person living in the Western Cape. The regular release of statistical information on reported crime enable all law enforcement agencies and safety structures to adequately and timeously adapt strategies to better respond to crime realities, in real time.
Despite a national Cabinet decision taken in June this year that crime statistics will be released quarterly, the rest of the country is still in the dark as to when this will be implemented. It is also unclear whether the anticipated release of the crime stats tomorrow by National Police Minister Nkosinathi Nhleko and Acting National Commissioner, Lt General Khomotso Phahlane, will reflect the quarterly reporting structure.
The release of the 2015 Annual National Crime Statistics was, by SAPS’ own admission, riddled with “discrepancies” which showed a nil return for crime categories at stations across the country.
Inaccurate and unreliable statistical reporting draws into question its validity. This further compounds its effectiveness to be used in crime preventative strategies by the entire safety fraternity, considering that annually released statistics can be up to 18 months old already.
The actual number of reported crimes as displayed in the annual crime statistics mean very little if these figures are not used to help inform safety interventions to ultimately help reduce crime.
Crime stats should not belong only to the police but should be used to inform the public of risks in their communities and empower strategic action from the entire safety fraternity.
The SAPS is the authority mandated to prevent, combat and investigate crime; maintain public order; and protect and secure everyone in the country. However, SAPS cannot fight crime alone.
A united front against crime is necessary. I believe this can be accomplished through effective partnerships and targeted interventions. Regular crime statistics is a step in the right direction to empower our communities and unite, with SAPS, in fighting crime.
The Western Cape Government looks forward to the release of the latest crime statistics by National Government tomorrow but we are even more eagerly awaiting the quarterly released crime statistics to inform the actions we, as a whole of society, need to take.
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