The Running Commentary

Crime Stats from SAPS


A lot has been said in the media and by very important people about the state of crime in the country. While I agree strongly that crime statistics are unacceptably high, I did feel that I would like to add a bit of a positive angle on the statistics to date.

I wanted to say before doing this that I am in no way making light of the situation and certainly am in no way saying that the police services have arrived. I did though want to highlight some trends that I thought were quite encouraging.

The stats published reveal that in period under review for 2003/2004 there we a total of 2 638 000 incidents of criminal activity and for the period 2008/2009 there were 2 148 000 incidents of criminal activity. This is a decrease in criminal activity of 18.59% or some 490 000 less crimes in just 6 years.

The sceptics out there will say that not all crime is reported and I would agree with that, but if someone was not reporting a crime in 2008/2009 they were more than likely not reporting a crime in 2003/2004 either. I would therefore suggest that this figure does bear some weight.

I am encouraged that in overall terms the level of criminal activity does appear to be declining. This is an encouraging sign for the country as a whole, more so given that the population has increased in this time. I guess in this case I am hoping that the trend is indicative of a maturing democracy and maybe just maybe and acknowledgment of your fellow man.

I understand that victims of crime out there may have a different point of view and once again I would like to say that I am not trying to make light of the statistics or more importantly their personal experiences. I am only trying to say that hopefully this is a real trend and that crime may well be on the decrease.

To end off… I have given the boys and girls in blue (and black and white) some flack for poor service and consideration of others around them, but I would like to say today that you need to keep up the work you are doing. Hopefully your efforts will continue to bear fruit and maybe we will see a further decrease in crime for the next period.

ANCCrimeCrime StatisticsDAIDpoliticsSouth AfricaSouth African Police Services

Mike • September 23, 2009

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